Arnold’s story app of a cow trying to find her calling is minimalist in every way, except some handsome artwork from Manders.
Lily, a bit of a freethinking, free-hoofing bovine living on a farm in Wisconsin, has an inkling that her hooves were made for more than support in the milking stall. Soon it will be her turn to take her Grandmoo’s place as the “bell cow,” the leader of the herd, but where Lily goes, chaos reigns. Surely, somewhere in the world, there is a place for a dancing bell cow. So off she ambles, in search of her calling. As Lily makes her world tour, Manders provides good scenic backdrops, but Lily is a klutz. Whatever she tries, she gives up right away. Until, that is, the conga crosses her path, a basic step-and-thrust with which even the most challenged cow can find the rhythm. For all the gumption Lily shows in taking to the wide-open road from her little farm in Wisconsin, it’s too bad she’s such a milquetoast when confronted with the flamenco, the tap dance or even the Senegalese stilt dance. The translation from Arnold’s 2004 traditional book to interactive app adds little beyond rudimentary animations and sound effects. A puzzle game offers three levels of difficulty.
Keep plugging, follow your muse, find your right fit in the world. Fine sentiments, though they might need a little more nerve than Lily is willing to give. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)