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by Dawn Bentley & illustrated by Karen Carr & developed by Oceanhouse Media

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: April 19th, 2011
Publisher: Oceanhouse Media

A melodramatic but gore-free introduction to T. Rex for younger and weak-stomached dino-fans.

Based on a 2004 book-and-CD kit, the episode pairs scenes of a realistically rendered tyrannosaur and several prospective victims in fully detailed natural settings. A perfunctory but rousing storyline—“Tyrannosaurus rex sniffs the air with her powerful nose. She smells lunch!”—is followed by a few closing screens of general facts. Viewers can opt at the beginning for auto or manual advance, audio narration or text only (the audio can be re-activated by touching any block of text). They can also turn off the pounding background music (though not the ongoing loud chorus of insect noises nor, apparently, the occasional popup link to this publisher’s other apps in the App Store). There’s no animation, but a swipe will both change the angle of view and bring up a different block of text, while a second swipe turns the page. Aside from one creature identified only as a “prehistoric bird,” tapping any dino helpfully activates a large label with an audio tag. Despite its bullying ways this toothy predator may draw some sympathy, as one prey animal after another escapes. No sooner does she finally seize and eat a hapless Anatotitan (entirely offstage and sans even crunchy sound effects) than an erupting volcano sends her fleeing.

Interactive features are so limited that, platform aside, there isn’t much to choose between this and the print edition. (iPad informational storybook app. 7-9)