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GUESS WHO? by Kyoung Kook  Lee


illustrated by Kyoung Kook Lee & developed by NCsoft & by Courtney Parker

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2012
Publisher: NCsoft

Strange and funky, with an addictive soundtrack and distinctive illustrations, this app has style to spare even if it won't be to every reader's taste.

A baby is described throughout as having features that resemble those of other family members, like Mommy and Sister. But the app's clever board-book–like design features bi-cut circles that only show part of other family members’ facial features from the next set of pages. Flipping the virtual page reveals the relative and unlocks sound effects and a few minor bits of animation while also providing a window back to the previous page. The text is simple with clues like, "Baby can't go out to play. See his sad face. Who does baby look like? Guess who." In this case, it's angry-looking Grandpa, who cheers up when readers touch a sound icon located on his mouth. The app has a character-design sense that is a little freaky and a lot zany, especially in some of the added features. For example, in one of three music videos for songs based on the story, the circular mouth-and-nose-only cutaways of the baby are used to create a band of sphere-headed infants wearing tiny, Speedo-like diapers. But the songs themselves are ridiculously catchy, especially "Guess Who?", which turns the entire text of the storybook into a nearly five-minute musical number complete with animated family members and the story's photo-snapping canine. A matching game is too short to be much fun, but the narration options are rich; there's a female or male narrator choice in addition to a tool for readers to record their own. 

The bouncy songs and the extreme art style may well appeal to young readers, who certainly haven't seen much like it anywhere else. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)