A rambling story of a parent’s trip home.
Little Alex waits with his nanny every evening for his mother to come home from work; some days she’s home very late. One particularly late evening, Alex’s mother spins a story that begins with being trapped in her office, continues through a trip on a fire engine and a flight on a dragon and ends with a triumphant crane ride across the city. Though the story has an amusing premise, the execution is a mess. The giant expanses of text are either badly translated or poorly edited, with sentences that are clunky or simply sound off. (“Sorry, but we are pressed for time," the firefighters say. “The elephant enclosure is on fire. It’s no monkey business, you know!”) It’s clear attention to detail wasn’t a high priority in creating an app with three language options when a thumbnail image of a page contains the word “Zoo” but the actual page illustration is instead written in Russian. Worse, the illustrations feel crowded with extraneous objects that are livened up only by occasionally witty uses of animation. Mom’s story rambles and rambles, long past the point where any child would have lost patience.
There’s a great app to be done about the imaginative ways a parent dresses up a story about the day, but this one doesn’t arrive fully formed. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)