A little king breaks his bed and then has to contend with the invention of measurement to find one that is the right size.
This simple app, with minimal interaction and rudimentary storyline, introduces users to a boy-king who loves to bounce on his bed, until he busts the frame “and his bottom hit the floor. ‘Ouch!’ ” If told, his parents would hold him responsible. One of those light bulbs indicating thought illuminates: “He would get a new bed without telling them.” (Kings don’t have to worry about such trivialities as payment.) Toe-to-toe, he paces out the dimensions and gives them to his chamberlain, who gives them to the carpenter, the maker of duvets and the master of mattresses. They, in turn, use their own toe-to-toe measurements and arrive at a very disproportioned bed indeed, true only to the carpenter’s clodhoppers, the duvet maker’s petite tootsies and the mattress maestro’s standard-issues. The wizard is summoned, who produces three sticks of equal length for each of the bed makers. Thus the ruler—oh yes, pun fully intended—was born. Forget about Theodorus of Crete and all those Egyptians, Indians, Chinese and the many unsung creators of measurement—what is at stake here is the standard measure, one of the first and great democratic acts. The interactive element here is easy peasy (even if navigation from page to page throughout the site is not): The active ingredient has a glowing pulse. The settings are enveloped in fire-warmed hues, as befitting bedtime, and the bed is a vision of billowy swells in a royal blue sea, even if the characters are as stiff as cold marionettes.
An understated but illuminating first glimpse at what measurement is all about. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)