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MRS. SPRAT NEXT DOOR'S CAT by David Banner

MRS. SPRAT NEXT DOOR'S CAT

By David Banner (Author) , Wales Interactive (Developer)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: July 6th, 2012
Publisher: Wales Interactive Ltd.

An amphibious fish with an identity crisis disguises herself—and lives—as a cat.

Mrs. Sprat wears fake paws on her fins, a headband with ears and an ID tag that says, “Fluffy.” She does a lot of things cats do—drinks milk from a dish and meows, for example—but the narrator isn’t buying the masquerade. The story, which appears to have been written to serve the rhyme, goes on to chronicle all the ways the impersonator doesn’t measure up to cat criteria. There are a few interactive elements, but most are sloppily done. For example, a 10-keyed piano keyboard can be “played,” but the intervals are incorrect (which could be detrimental or at least frustrating to kids who are acquiring formal musical knowledge). Another page offers a grayscale section that can be converted to color with finger swipes, but completing it is laborious because each swipe transforms a dot that’s smaller than a dime. There’s a quick reference to the fish-out-of-water dilemma, but it still leaves a gaping hole in the story; even a magical explanation would be better than none. There’s a puzzle to solve and a page where readers can dress Mrs. Sprat in various disguises, but nothing can mask this app’s weaknesses.

A risky investment, even at half the price. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)