ALPH AND BETTY'S TOPSY-TURVY WORLD by Electric Circus

ALPH AND BETTY'S TOPSY-TURVY WORLD

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Age Range: 4 - 8
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Available on the App Store

KIRKUS REVIEW

An alphabet-based story app places its emphasis on games rather than narrative.

Alph and Betty are inventors. The stylishly illustrated “story” begins with their elaborate, A-shaped horn alarm blaring, but initially, Betty is the only one who awakens. Readers must help Betty scale the screen like a mountain goat in order to find edibles that begin with that page’s letter and complete inane tasks (for example, rudimentary matching games that require much less skill than it takes to navigate the overall app). It appears that Betty cannot go on to the next letter until everything (yes, everything) has been found and engaged. But that’s easier said than done, as there’s no pattern, path or story-based logic to guide readers, and sometimes instructions or text boxes obscure the items readers need to find in order to advance the page. The help arrows are only mildly effective, and many readers may find themselves giving up before they’ve completed even half the alphabet. Although readers are guaranteed to spend quite a lot of time on each page, they are more likely to be concentrating on the tasks than absorbing alphabet skills. The “read it myself” option reads aloud anyway. For a much more sensible puzzle-solving storybook-app experience, see Bartleby’s Book of Buttons (2010)

The premise might be built around kids learning their ABCs, but by the time they get to Z, they may have already graduated high school. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad alphabet app. 4-8)


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Pub Date: Dec. 29th, 2013
Publisher: Electric Circus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2014




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