An evocative set of 16 illustrated, one-page vignettes is pleasantly surreal.
Bold oranges, purples and yellows in a style reminiscent of Esphyr Slobodkina dominate the curious collection. In the title story, a golden pear clings to a branch despite Autumn’s best efforts. “ ‘All right,’ thought Autumn every evening, ‘tomorrow you will fall off for sure!’ ” Not every story in the app is as effective, but they are all accessible to young readers willing to go with the flow. Nearly all focus on children as they encounter imaginary animals, struggle to understand the weirdness of parents or get into mischief. Some are amusing, but most have a wistful edge, such as “I Won’t Have Soup,” about fear conquering curiosity. Illustrations are marked by bold lines and angles, some abstract, all striking. All are pleasingly animated and accompanied by elegant narration and muted sound effects. Readers drop directly from the title page into the 16 stories, each with text that is easily revealed or hidden. Navigation can be tricky. A pear icon at the bottom of the screen brings up 15 of the 16 pages (not including the current page), but none of them is numbered, and the order of the pages changes, creating a perhaps-intentional sense of disorientation.
The stories are well-written and short enough to be easily digested, but the vivid, adventurous images are what will linger in the mind. (Requires iPad 2 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 6-13)