A boy makes up fanciful tales about what happened to his unappetizing dinner items in this distinctly designed, playful app.
When Timmy's mother gives him a series of items to eat, including parsnip bake, radish tart and the titular Brussels sprouts, he invents a series of imaginary animals that come in and devour the food so he doesn't have to. Told in rhyme ("A leopard ate my liver pie / Garnished with a tsetse fly. / Honest, Mom, I don't know why / That leopard ate my liver pie!") and illustrated by sleek, well-animated art, the story is one readers will relate to, given some of the items Timmy tries to pass off to his made-up menagerie. His mom, of course, catches on and tells him about the delicious desserts he'll miss due to similar pseudo circumstances. The interactive elements of the app are even cleverer than they seem; on one of the first pages, Timmy (and readers) flicks Brussels sprouts into the mouth of a hungry bear. Miss the bear's mouth, and he seems a bit dejected. Get it closer, and the bear chomps down. The illustrative style makes the app stand out from more cartoonish apps; Timmy's indoor winter wear, the heavy wood and concrete surfaces and even the hairstyles suggest a Scandinavian setting. Older readers may begin to wonder, with all the talk of hungry animals and the unusual menu, if Timmy is being raised by former IKEA designers gone survivalist-rogue.
The menus, navigation buttons (more blocks of wood in the shape of arrows) and the narration are all effective. But it's the app's distinctive art style and the playful, hungry animals that make it worth a look. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)