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BALLY, THE BALLOON DOG by Mara Colecchia


by Mara Colecchia & illustrated by Jorgito Rodriguez & Andrea Parisi & developed by iStoryApps & Apps of All Nations

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: April 27th, 2011
Publisher: Apps of All Nations

Bally meets up with three "real" dogs and through a series of events realizes that he’s different. Will he ever fit in?

Bally the “bright blue poodle” (clearly lavender on the iPad screen) is tethered to a string and held by the balloon seller in the park. As he floats high in the sky, a gust of wind gives him a lift and he manages to break free. Thus begins his attempt to keep up with three real canines. Bally tries to dive into a fountain but can only float on the surface. He tries to lift his leg on a tree but nothing comes out (though apparently he can pass gas). He tries to eat a hotdog and ends up catapulting it on top of a hedge none of them can reach. It’s only when he retrieves the wayward hotdog that he is fully accepted as “one of them.” There are elements to this app that kids will enjoy: feeding hotdogs to pups; dropping dogs into a fountain; recording personal narration. But by and large, it’s about as limp as a balloon that survived last week’s birthday party. The story is weak and inconsistent, the writing is undistinguished and the implicit “moral” leaves the impression that usefulness equals value.

A few bells and whistles fail to make this app soar. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)