Just beyond your front door is an entire universe of imagination.
This is one whale of an excursion, simply written and featuring childlike illustrations to transport readers from one new discovery to another. It is one of those rare books that, despite its 120-page girth, moves quickly from the narrator’s known world into familiar fairy tales, to the sea, around the zoo, to the far reaches of a child's imagination. Young ones (pre-readers and readers alike) will be transfixed, wondering what's around the next preposition. The voiced narration is both comforting and whimsical. Unfortunately, the technical deficiencies in the digital version of Debuc’s story have padlocked the door of the house. There are no cues to help readers know where to swipe the pages, and the swipe trigger itself is either too sensitive or not sensitive enough. There is no read-it-myself option, no page guide, no index and no sound effects whatsoever, save the music on the title page and at the end. The menu contains no help at all, other than an English/French option. And the only real interactive offering here is the ability to move the pulsing objects around the page. So many digital opportunities lost: What is that green, furry hand sticking out of the closet? No way to find out. The family of rabbits, the extraterrestrial, the pirate, the teeny-weeny octopus—they should not be silent in an adventure like this.
Simply put, this wonderful book deserves nothing less than a digital do-over. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)