Interactions disrupt the flow of a mediocre mystery adventure.
Readers can put together a jigsaw puzzle, connect the dots, match some pairs and repeat some percussion rhythms, but they can’t find much of a story here. Slibby, a snail who lives just outside the town of Porchlandia, has to solve the mystery of who stole the food from his friends, the ants. Each step of his investigation features activities that work well, are explained clearly and are developmentally appropriate for the target age group, but the creators clearly paid more attention to them than to the storytelling, evidently writing the plot around the desired interactions. At one point, the detective snail needs to "fly" from one tree to an unspecified destination, and readers are asked to clear the clouds out of the way, for instance. Such leaps in plot logic abound, making for a wholly unsatisfying story. The punctuation is sloppy, there is no way to shut off the repetitive music, and one of the full-cast narrators has an irritating, condescending tone of voice. The illustrations are standard cartoon-style computer graphics, and the music and sound effects are unimaginative. Full-app navigation is available from every page.
The pedestrian story is an undeserving vehicle for the puzzles and activities along the way. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)