In this pretty if occasionally precious app, a mercurial child’s moods and whims find allegorical counterparts in the flower garden she plants.
Being initially dismissive of the 16 seeds she is given, her first careless toss grows up Spoiled (Primula putris) with a “ring of slimy petals / that smelled of black bananas.” Soon, though, a lighter mood sows Cheerfulness (Helianthus hilaris), followed by positives from Hope (Asclepias spes) to Diligence (Viticula industria). Her progress is not without incidents of backsliding, like Tattle Tale (Proditio pusilla), with its “smell of rats,” and Fibs (Mendacium delicatum). Ultimately she plants Gratitude (Iris memoris), then gathers up all the seeds from “the cottage gardens of our hearts” to pass on to others. Herz and Scott’s measured free verse is cast into italics with decorated initials, and Stokes’ illustrations, which appear opposite, begin, mostly, with delicate seeds placed on elegantly plain backdrops. Tapping an icon under each page of narrative causes the seeds to open, grow twining stems and burst into recognizable but fancifully altered flowers as bees, butterflies and the tiny girl look on or drift playfully past. There is no audio track. The final lush garden scene, accessible from any screen, functions as an interactive index and also features instructions for sharing sample illustrations via email.
It’s a bit mannered, but high production values and a realistic mix of behavioral ups and downs keep it from turning twee or labored. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad poetry app. 6-10)