Mother Goose rhymes paired with vintage illustrations lose something in translation to an interactive format.
There’s something magical about opening an early 20th-century Volland edition of fairy tales or nursery rhymes illustrated by Richardson. The elegant, old-fashioned drawings are meticulously outlined in pen and feature a pleasing palette of colors and beautiful rural landscapes. The Original Mother Goose is a stunning classic that warrants a careful touch when converting to a new platform. Unfortunately, this particular app’s enhancements feel clumsy, out of place and sometimes jarring set against the gorgeous illustrations. Some of the pages work better than others, such as the "Dickery Dickery Dock" page, where viewers can move the clock’s hands, and the "Old King Cole" page, where the violins produce lovely sounds. Others are less successful. The front of the dog detaches disconcertingly from his back end in "Old Mother Hubbard," and Little Boy Blue's snore is more laughable than believable. The narration is a bit shrill, and the sound quality is tinny. Navigation is abetted by a pull-down bookmark in the upper corner of the pages that brings viewers back to a menu from which they can choose any of the 13 rhymes, but page turns are very slow.
Viewers can see rhymes from The Original Mother Goose online for free at oldpicturebooks.com and decide for themselves whether a simple, amateur reading at home can create more magic than this app. (iPad storybook app. 2-7)