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THE JOURNEY OF ALVIN by Ismael González González


by Ismael González González ; Raúl García del Pomar Corada ; illustrated by Ismael González González ; Raúl García del Pomar Corada

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2014
Publisher: meikme

Alvin rides his old mower to visit his brother, taking a slow journey across a beautiful landscape and enjoying the ride.

This artful storybook app combines soothing narration, measured pacing and striking use of colors to create a pleasurable, cinematic experience for young readers. As Alvin slowly bumps along, an eclectic assortment of vehicles pass him—from “the farmer’s stinky truck” to “music-making bicycles” ringing their bells. Alvin lives in the moment, never bothered by his slow speed. “By going at this speed, so slowly, so slowly… / he could hear the concert provided by the chirping birds, / and the animals of the forest.” Composed of geometric shapes, the illustrations have a decidedly retro look, and yet the color scheme is thoroughly modern, filled with subdued complementary colors. Text and narration are available in English and Spanish, with easy controls. Sound effects and music help immerse readers in the slow-moving scenes. A few inconsistencies may nag at literal-minded youngsters. Readers are told Alvin has a white beard, and yet the illustrations show it to be yellow. When the turtle momentarily hunkers down in its shell, it continues to move even though it is not walking. The setting transitions from a desert plateau to a seaside town briefly without any discussion.

Wonderfully cinematic and surreal for readers willing to go with Alvin’s flow.

(iPad storybook app. 3-7)