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by Jan Graveline & illustrated by Todd Graveline & developed by TaleSpring, Inc.

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 2011
Publisher: TaleSpring, Inc.

After his master leaves for work, a dog passes the time by daydreaming.

This book is one of a handful recently published by TaleSpring, a do-it-yourself platform whereby authors can build their own interactive apps. The premise of this particular story has everything going for it; dreaming big and exercising one’s imagination has been preached everywhere from the classroom to the boardroom. However, this app isn’t going to accomplish much to that end. The artwork features bright, vivid illustrations and sharp angular objects that exhibit beautifully on the tablet screen. Beyond that, it subscribes to the lowest common denominator on every front. Randy the dog spends his time in a daydream-like state in which “anything is possible.” He travels to outer space, where readers can touch stars to summon planets that burp, pass gas and say things like “What?” and “How you doin’?” in their best Joey Tribbiani voices. An elephant has an ethnic identity crisis, and a bunny exclaims, “That’s stinky,” with no context whatsoever. Narration is prompted on a page-by-page basis and sounds like it was recorded in a cave; on at least one occasion there’s audible background noise.

A perfect choice for those who value weak potty humor, a hollow story and uninspiring animation and interaction. Others would do well to set their alarms before this dream takes shape. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)