With the onset of the digital age, with even wristwatches making a surreptitious exit from daily life, this app celebrates the many types of clocks that have marked time over the years.
Unfortunately, while one would expect some reference to telling time in a children’s book app about clocks—or at the very least some accurate correspondence between the time on the clocks and the text—this story focuses solely on the sounds that the clocks make. Throughout the story, a whimsical duo of horse and blue jay pass the time together swinging on pendulums, waking to annoying alarm clocks and generally introducing the reader to the various types and uses of clocks. The particular sounds of each of the clocks are cleverly rendered in onomatopoeic words, from the “Tickety-tockety” of small clocks to the “Bonggg! Bonggg!” of the grandfather clock. What is left to the imagination in the traditional book format (It's Almost Time, 2011) is enhanced by the actual sounds embedded in the interactive features of the app. A simple touch plays the sounds of the clocks and initiates the antics of the horse and blue jay. But in addition to the lack of instructional content, the paper publication’s other flaws remain, most significantly the disconnect between the text’s "one minute till cuckoo" and the illustration’s 10 minutes before 12.
Although the boisterous illustrations do make it look like a lot of fun, there may not be enough here to bring back anyone but the youngest readers and true clock enthusiasts. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)