A Tim Burton–esque variation on the classic story, definitely not for the weak of heart.
Related in English or Spanish by a nonoptional narrator who is sometimes drowned out by the sound effects, the tale sends defunct Little Red, er, Dead—unaware that her basket holds poisoned pastries—through the woods to her still-living grandmother’s. Fortunately, Grandmother has been tipped off. Muttering that “they used to call me ‘Ramba’ when I was young,” she gathers enough heavy ordinance to invade North Korea (plus a tap-activated lightsaber) and greets her grandchild with a hail of gunfire. Unfortunately, Grandmother has a short memory and so dies histrionically after chowing down on the basket’s contents. This gothic knee-slapper alternates between text pages with line-drawn illustrations and elaborately crafted scenes featuring vanishing dialogue, spooky shadows and macabre interactive effects. Little Dead’s tendency to pop up suddenly in the foreground, flashing her fleshless grin and rolling her single eye, is particularly shriek-worthy. A hapless wolf named Lupito offers comic relief—plus, following a fall down Grandma’s chimney, a main course. A button on the title page links to sets of sketchbook pages and wipe-away scenes.
Feature-rich and slickly designed and illustrated, this app is at once hilarious and disquieting. (iPad storybook app. 9-13)