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LEONARD by Timothy  Penner Kirkus Star


illustrated by Timothy Penner & developed by endloop by Ink Robin

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 15th, 2012
Publisher: Ink Robin

Imagination makes all the difference in this story of one boy’s quest for new friends.

A move from the city to the country leaves Leonard, an optimist with an enormous imagination, in a bit of a quandary: Where are all the new friends? As readers join him in his search, Leonard’s imagination takes off full force, taking him into the jungle and soaring into outer space. He’s even desperate enough to crash his sister’s tea party, which turns out to be an awkward turn of events. Full of adventurous, interactive fun, this appealing app is well worth the price and the upgrade to iOS5. Penner's ’60s-retro illustrations pop, and Andy Trithardt's narration piques interest from the get-go. The music and sound effects are brilliant and flawlessly timed. From the harp-and-flute combo that takes readers into Leonard’s imagination to the mournful violin solo played by his long-suffering feline sidekick, it’s a sonic delight. It all adds up to a reading experience children will turn to again and again, and not just because they love the games embedded in the story (squishing big bugs in the forest, spotting jungle animals with a spyglass and building a robot).

Well told, cleverly illustrated and beautifully supported with interactive surprises that make sense and are great fun, this is a stellar example of iPad storytelling. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)