An appealing little fraidy-squirrel leaves the predictable, safe life of his nut tree for an adventure into the terrifying unknown.
Scaredy Squirrel is so afraid of the outside world that he’d rather remain in his tree forever than risk running into killer bees, sharks or green Martians. And just in case something unexpected happens, he’s got a fully stocked emergency kit and a top-secret exit plan. Naturally, something unexpected does happen, and Scaredy Squirrel leaps out of his tree, with surprising and delightful results. Simple cartoon illustrations reflect a sophisticated use of perspective and page design. The low-key, droll narration is effective; it allows Scaredy Squirrel’s endearing character to take center stage. Navigation is achieved easily through a picture menu. Unfortunately, the iBooks experience lacks the freedom of an app. Double-tapping sometimes brings up the iBooks menu, sometimes zooms in or out and sometimes actually triggers something interactive. There is some text that is not narrated, and page turning is a little glitchy. It’s also priced at the iBooks standard $9.99, which is expensive compared to storybooks from the App Store.
For every kid or grownup who has ever been afraid of anything, Scaredy Squirrel is a delight in any format—but this particular interface is not a significant improvement on good old paper. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)