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SPATTER & SPARK by Deborah Underwood


by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell & developed by Polk Street Press

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 2013
Publisher: Polk Street Press

A peppy yet, paradoxically, painfully slow story about a porcupine on an artistic quest.

Spatter the porcupine wants to give a gift to Hubert, a baby crow. Since he loves to paint, Spatter decides to paint Hubert’s picture. But there’s one problem: He’s never seen the baby crow. Spatter finds his inventor friend Spark, and the two set out to find a way to help Spatter catch a glimpse of his would-be subject. The graphics are bright, crisp and clear, but the corresponding animation and interaction are exceptionally sluggish. When Spatter arrives at Spark’s house, it’s covered with levers and tubes and spring-loaded contraptions. The lull in dialogue will undoubtedly prompt little fingers to get busy, but alas, none of the gadgets pays off or advances the story until the next screen (which isn’t accessible until a listless arrow appears). From there, Spark’s random inventions bog down the plot, but one finally inspires the duo to find a supposed solution to Spatter’s problem (which ends up being a moot point in the end). All of the bonus activities are in-app purchases, which is sure to cause frustration for both parents and children.

Regardless of which reading mode is chosen, this app has one speed: s-l-o-w. (for iPad 2 and above) (iPad storybook app. 2-5)