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THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE by Inkmation

THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE

By Inkmation

Age Range: 4 - 8

Publisher: Inkmation

This initial offering by developer Inkmation is a Saturday-morning-cartoon–inflected retelling of Aesop’s fable with minimal technical innovation. The hare is a bully as well as a braggart, dumping a bowl of spaghetti on the tortoise’s head and kicking away his soccer ball before the silent tortoise dares to speak up and challenge him to the storied race. The simplistic anthropomorphism parallels the unsophisticated, flat artwork. The creators valiantly attempt to offer a variety of touch-screen experiences within the 16 pages, but they fail to dazzle. There’s some automatic animation on half the pages, with further action dependent upon taps (a dash, a jump, a wave or image revealed) on most. Text appears at the bottom of the screen (which is in fixed portrait orientation), along with a centered home icon and right/left navigation arrows to side-shift pages (no fancy flipping here). In “read to me” mode, spoken words are not highlighted, and the “let me read” option does not provide on-the-spot narrative support when tapping words or swiping sentences, as in other apps. The music (a jaunty piano tune) can be turned on and off, as can sound effects (pops, boings, swishes and whistling wind). It ends with a survey asking for story suggestions and comments—perhaps these will yield other tales that are more successful as iPad apps. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)