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SIMONE AND THE NIGHT'S MONSTERS by Graziano Vitale

SIMONE AND THE NIGHT'S MONSTERS

By Graziano Vitale (Illustrator) , Simiula (Developer)

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: March 4th, 2011
Publisher: Simiula

A miserly set of badly designed interactive effects sinks this tale of an intrepid lad doing nightly battle with a green monster, a giant spider and other bedtime foes.

Clad in oversized glasses and purple flannels, Simone courageously takes on a succession of attackers. They all revert to toys or other domestic items each time his increasingly irritated mother looks in to settle him down, but in a twist at the end she dragoons them into cleaning up the mess next morning after the boy leaves for school. Buttons offer viewers either a straight up, no-audio reading or a “Watch” mode that still has no narration but adds appropriate sound effects and a short, non-repeatable animation to each page. Neither includes an auto-advance option. In “Watch” mode, a spread gesture will expand the watercolor cartoon illustration to full-screen size—but to no evident purpose, since the text then vanishes and the animation still doesn’t run more than once. The opening screen also offers an option to assign new names to every character, but the protagonist has to remain a boy since the names will change in the text but the pronouns don’t. Mercer Mayer set the standard for bedroom brangles long ago, though There's a Nightmare in My Closet, There's a Crocodile Under My Bed and the rest still haven’t made the transition to the digital domain.

Well-worn premise, appealingly illustrated—but a nonstarter as an app. (iPad storybook app. 5-7)