A seemingly bland comparison of cute cartoon kittens and equally cuddly monsters offers customizing features that allow aspiring writers all the narrative freedom they might desire.
“Monsters are big. Kittens are small.” To these and similarly innocuous lines, Jones matches scenes of rotund brutes and little felines posing together, with minor animations and tap-activated, low-volume growls and mewing added. Despite all the differences, the two also turn out to have plenty in common, from “They are both warm and cuddly,” to “They don’t care what their friends look like.” The redoubtable Lee himself adds star power with an emotive "Read To Me" narration. Some discreet farting paired to “Monsters smell weird” is about as far as the envelope gets pushed—at least on the first run-through. Start over or tap the “create” icon, however, and the text on each screen vanishes for a keyboard that allows children to type in, or to voice with the microphone option activated, a (savable) text—any text—of their own. Budding artists aren’t forgotten but have fewer options; floating pencils turn out to be just icons to open ribbon menus that allow some switching of selected figures’ colors or shapes, but there’s no free drawing.
The overall lack of action or a plotline hints that this may be intended more as a fill-in-the-blanks gag than a series of opportunities for story crafting, but there’s still a lot of scope for invention. (iPad storybook app. 6-9)