This imaginative portrayal of ancient animal figures does not realize its full potential.
Using high-quality photographs on a background of decorative and textured paper, this interactive story introduces nine ancient Chinese and Egyptian artifacts. The story and interactive elements prompt young children to imagine these creatures coming to life. “When Ibis wants to have fun, she hops up and down.” With a tap, the photograph of the ibis moves, extending its legs to jump up before sitting back down. This combination of realistic photography and interactive animation will help fuel young children’s imaginations as they prepare for museum visits. Each animal has written a letter to young readers. Hedgehog writes, “I was made in Egypt a very long time ago. I am made out of a special kind of clay a beautiful color of blue.” He further informs readers that he resides in the Brooklyn Museum. Unfortunately, the story that develops is stiff and lackluster. One by one, the animals gather together in a cumulative tale. “When Duck and Hedgehog take a ride on Horse’s cart, Ibis wants ride too.” A final page provides detailed information about each artifact, but it misses an easy opportunity by not providing hyperlinks to the specific pieces in the museum collections. This would have made reaching further reading easy for interested children and families.
Though visually pleasing, this app fails to provide children with an engaging story. (iPad storybook app. 4-12)