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THE SNOW BALL by David Steinberg


by David Steinberg & illustrated by Liz Conrad & developed by PadWorx

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 2012
Publisher: PadWorx

Heavy snow gives a community of fun-loving polar bears a reprieve from school.

Most kids love it when school is cancelled due to inclement weather, especially when they get to play in the snow; the polar bears in this winter’s tale are no exception. They “go thump-thump-galumping” through the snow, make snow angels, throw snowballs at each other and “go flopping on the ice for a ride / balumping on their bellies, going slipidee-sliiiiiide.” In terms of interaction, this app doesn’t offer much—linear gliding movement, minimal tilt motion and rudimentary animation, for example. The illustrations are so cute, though (imagine a more primitive Coca Cola polar bear), that kids will probably enjoy just observing the adorable creatures having so much fun. Though readers can choose between “read myself” and “read to me” options, there’s a non-negotiable, bright and cheery soundtrack that loops in the background, a feature that would be nice to be able to switch off (or at least turn down). Kids are likely to enjoy the bonus “penguin attack” game for a short while, but it’s nothing spectacular. Perhaps the app’s greatest feature is that it’s dedicated to Conrad, the late illustrator, and a portion of the sale proceeds will be donated to cancer research in her honor.

Not much depth but enough breadth to keep little ones engaged for a short time. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)