A lovely ode to sailing your ship to the poetry within you that nonetheless manages to subvert itself.
This is a simple app, one that doesn’t brook any fancy-pants interaction, but tells its story with spare visual imagery and text rendered in cursive, either with or without a fluty spoken narrative. The story follows Victor from birth to elementary school, as he engages with the world. Victor is blessed with a poetical heart that “uses words with parsimony,” one that finds its greatest expression in his love of birds and all they represent: song and flight, bright color and freedom. Of course, such a sensibility doesn’t find it easy in the artless, soulless precincts of school and the always-looming future of the workplace—where one learns to “take your revenge on the little freedom hidden between the lines or even between your toes.” Victor and his supportive parents heed the music in their heads and live to it, as visually realized through Allegue’s smoothly animated, lush, stained-glass artwork. The app provides its own curious counterpoints. The first is the music, a melancholy—“wistful” if you are being very generous—vulnerable bath of piano and wind instrument. The second is the curious absence of any typical app interaction with the screen. This would be an ideal venue for readers to pick and choose how to experience the story—to be their own readers, working their destiny—thus involving themselves with the tale’s leitmotif.
A celebration of untamed individualism that founders for a lack of musical swing and interactive immersion. (iPad storybook app. 8-12)