A popular French picture-book character moves to the app realm with mixed results.
Lulu, a small tortoise with adorable wiggling pigtails in her hair, is surprised to hear laughing from all the forest animals and discovers that they are laughing at a big blue wolf. When she realizes that the animals are laughing at the wolf’s stuttering howls, Lulu determines to help him discover his frightening side, thus enabling him to pass his “wolf exams.” While readers will appreciate the resolution of this sweet story, the app adapts the picture book with only partial success. The music and narration, available in French, English and Spanish, engage readers, bringing them into the story, and the design is smooth and attractive. Illustrator Pillot’s vibrant artwork translates beautifully to the iPad, but the picture-book text is too wordy and long for the app format, dominating the screens and slowing the pacing. There are translation issues, too, with some nonsensical syntax (“today school’s nay”) and mystifying idioms (“It’s enough to lose her rag!”). The limited interactive features do not extend the story sufficiently, distracting readers instead of deepening their understanding of the themes or plot.
This app ultimately falls short. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)