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TIDY MICE TALES by Gioia Francella


A Tidy Tale of a Tatty Town

by Gioia Francella & illustrated by Gloria Francella & developed by SmallBytes

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2013
Publisher: SmallBytes

Rodents go wild—with cleaning supplies, that is.

There’s an unspoken rule in poetic endeavors: Either rhyme it, or don’t. Going back and forth between the two makes for a choppy ride, especially when the meter is inconsistent. The text of this app begins well enough, but by the second page, the structure is lost, as evidenced by the badly rhymed, extra-syllabic verse. The story goes something like this: A group of tidy mice that live in a dingy, polluted town decide to be good Samaritans and give the city a shine at night while everyone is sleeping. They are literally an overnight success. The next morning, not only do the buildings glisten, but the sun is out, flowers and green grass have miraculously appeared, and the fireplaces seem to be burning clean energy (clouds of gray chimney smoke have suddenly turned white). There are navigation icons at the top of each page, one of which offers interactive hints. Tapping clouds produces thunder and lightning; the mice mutter cutely when touched; and there are plenty of other simple interactions to accommodate eager little fingers. Bonus features include a matching game and six jigsawlike puzzles (though the numbering and one of the hints are incorrect). 

The graphics in this simple app are irresistibly cute, but the incongruently rhymed story could use a little tidying up. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)