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illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, developed by iStorytime

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2011
Publisher: zuuka

Eldritch lights and cackles add atmospheric tricks to this abbreviated Halloween finger rhyme—but the clunky page turns and special effects are no treat.

Fitted to just seven screens after the half-sized title page, the verse hardly begins before it’s done—particularly with the optional audio narration, which auto-advances so quickly that there’s often no time to discover all of the interactive features. Touches make each pumpkin in the very simply painted nighttime scenes take on a thrillingly eerie glow and the hovering ghosts and witches in some scenes sail out of sight—but the accompanying yowls, chortles and groans will only play one at a time, cutting off if another figure in the picture is tapped too soon. Furthermore, page turns often require multiple swipes, and neither the index strip of thumbnail images nor the presence of a pinch function that enlarges the pages (double taps also work) serve any useful purpose.

Though this is touted as "the world's first interactive e-book"—you’ll find this in the iBookstore, not the App Store—the print version (1998) serves up the toddler-pleasing spookiness at least as well. (E-book. 1-3)