A tale of dreams lost and found, well-served by soft-voiced narration, gentle music and surreal illustrations in muted hues.
Young Rom’s visions of a whale with lion’s paws and butterfly wings are the first nighttime dreams for 1,000 years in the “gypsy” kingdom of Numia. His belief that the creature is real takes him on a quest that leads to a series of strange encounters—with, among others, winged elephants and people made of water and fire. At last Rom is able to return the whale, which has been trapped in his dream, to a kingdom sleepless and desperate since its disappearance. In return, the whale teaches his own folk how to dream again. The otherworldly atmosphere is artfully reinforced by tap-activated animations. These include lines of text that fade in and out of sight, drifting leaves, slow changes of expression or position, a picture that can be washed in pale colors with a fingertip, spotlight effects, and visual elements or entire illustrations that appear and vanish with repeated touches. Readers can not only opt for English, Spanish or Chinese versions of the tale and narration, but also a running translation into any of those languages at the bottom. Furthermore, on every screen an icon opens a trilingual list of relevant words or phrases that are voiced with a touch.
Beguiling (particularly for bedtimes), seamlessly designed and unusually feature-rich. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 6-9)