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by Don Freeman ; illustrated by Don Freeman ; developed by Auryn Inc.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 2012
Publisher: Auryn

Color by color, a box of fingertip-controlled pastel crayons draw an island, a stranded lad, a passing ship and other details in this animated version of Freeman’s 1976 exercise in creativity.

Once again, Auryn applies elegantly subtle, wholly relevant interactions to a pre-existing children’s book. With imperceptible page turns, the blank white sheet that nearly fills the initial screen acquires pale silhouette guidelines for each color’s additions. The crayons won’t color outside their assigned lines and can only be used one at a time, so the “creativity” part is rather illusory—but just by scribbling, very young children can fill in a cartoon drawing. Partway through, the drawings begin to move as the boy waves a flag at the distant ship and then climbs aboard a turtle that carries him to rescue. Bubbles of text read by an expressive narrator appear or vanish entirely at the touch of one icon; a bonus game playable with a tap on another icon challenges more dexterous users to drag a row of creatures or items onto the finished drawing within a certain time limit.

A quick but satisfying experience for budding artists in or recently out of diapers.

(iPad storybook app. 2-4)