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WHO'S IN THE LOO? by Jeanne Willis


by Jeanne Willis & illustrated by Adrian Reynolds & developed by Robot Media

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 8th, 2012
Publisher: Robot Media

Sound effects and animated wriggles squeeze out laffs from this unabashed exercise in toilet humor, but the software coding and design is a major update short of release-ready.

Published in print on this side of the pond in 2007 as Who’s in the Bathroom? but reverting to its British title for the app version, the episode uses the same art and rhymed text to roll out an extended series of speculations about who is holding up the line outside an outdoor restroom: “Is it a tiger who needed a tiddle? / A wandering wombat who wanted a widdle? / A waddling penguin too frozen to piddle?” Each watercolor scene features one or more creatures who groan, strain, emit a noxious-looking cloud (in the case of a “rhino who had a hot curry”) or gesture suggestively, and a toilet in (thankfully) side view that flushes with a tap. Readers can opt for silent mode, self-record or, albeit with a very slow auto-advance, a narrator who delivers the lines with indecent relish. But even in silent mode the text appears piecemeal on many screens, and only temporarily at that, with repeated manual swipes required to bring the next line into view. Pulling a chain on the title page produces not only loud flushing, but two side activities: a select set of coloring pages and a more promising multiple-choice fill-in-the-rhyming-word iteration of the story that, unfortunately, crashes the app after the first few screens.

A few clogs in the digital plumbing away from a wrap. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)