Friends Jacques and Missy, a cat and a mouse respectively, find adventure when Missy loses her red scarf in the air, forcing them to land their yellow prop plane in Costa Rica.
From here, the story branches in a few directions, allowing the pair to explore a pond, a volcano, a jungle where sloths live and other parts of a national park. Games and challenges emerge to move the story along—not all are easy, however, and they must be solved in order to continue the story. Even more frustrating is that there’s no way to turn pages. Readers must instead look for clues in the text or a small flash on the screen to figure out where to tap to move ahead. Sometimes that can trigger unnecessary and annoying backtracking. A small blue tab that offers options disappears unless readers remember where to tap. There, readers find options to mute sounds and elicit labels and facts (written in three ascending levels of difficulty), as well as a seek-and-find challenge and a world map. The app offers no spoken narration, but there are plenty of opportunities for parents to read along with kids and to share new words and facts.
Jacques and Missy make good travel companions, and the sights in Costa Rica are lovely, but making it through the app can sometimes feel less like a vacation and more like homework. (Requires iOS 7 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 5-9)