In this pleasant if not quite finished (or logical) tale, a manikin living in a city made of boxes goes in search of something that has no corners.
Weary of bumping into the sharp edges of his bed and furniture—really, the squared-off world in general—diminutive Mr. Meow leaves the tall building where he works as a janitor to find something without corners. Though he becomes an object of derision, his quest is fulfilled at last, as what looks at first like the sun rising over the ocean becomes a hot air balloon (tied to a four-cornered basket beneath, but never mind) with which he and his cat Psss…psss sail off into the sky. Illustrated with neatly squared-off scenes that are all straight lines and harmoniously colored geometric shapes and patterns, the simply written story comes with two narration options. The “Read by myself” option is not silent but offers subdued music and sound effects, while “Read to me” mode features expressive audio narration, auto advance and a text that can be visible or not. In either option, shifting layers add movement, and a small number of tap-activated sounds or animations provide low-key interactive elements. Though the narrator sometimes intrudes despite being toggled off and the app has stability issues, the story offers an equally engaging premise and delivery.
Appealingly unpretentious, for all that the plot isn’t quite as tidy as the art and a few technical bobbles remain. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)