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by Marina Tito, illustrated by Marina Tito, Lorenzo Di Alessandro, developed by Good Puppy

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 2014
Publisher: Marina Tito

Unexceptional writing and low-wattage interactive effects send this tale of a girl and her closet monster to a back shelf.

Chloe is drawn with huge, almond eyes and placed against pastel backgrounds. She explains to readers how she cuddles, cleans up after and cares for her spidery, rubber-limbed companion (anonymous, until he’s abruptly introduced near the end as “Floyd”) before anticlimactically revealing the “little secret” that he is her friend—a fact which she had previously mentioned anyway on the second screen. Toothy Floyd is appealing, with his little horns and big, googly eyes, and he makes a variety of amusing noises when he is tapped, from Donald Duck–like mutterings to gentle boinks. Unfortunately, he is not enough to sustain even this short app. The story, which is intermittently rhymed, is read by a slightly breathless narrator in both manual and autoplay modes. Selecting the latter freezes the skimpy assortment of animations and tap-activated sound effects. The app opens with an advertisement (readers may skip past it), closes on a screen that does not allow backward swiping, and features neither a thumbnail index nor a way to set a bookmark.

A bland take on a premise that Mercer Mayer has practically worn out single-handedly. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)