A young would-be pirate learns that kindness and other intangibles are the real “treasures” in this lesson-driven episode.
The story is set around an island dubbed “Midlandia” and populated by candy-colored residents displaying odd combinations of animal and human features. It introduces a bright blue doglike character named Koostoe O. Bobo whose ambition to be a pirate founders on his discovery that stealing things is less satisfying than finding them and giving them away to friends. The slightly hazy, saturated color cartoon scenes pan, zoom and dissolve as bland music plays in the background. Meanwhile, successive lines of narrative text and dialogue scroll in and out of view along the bottom of each screen. There are no animated figures, and the skimpy assortment of touch-activated effects (marked by sprays of stars but nonfunctional until all of the text has appeared) is limited to rare starbursts and identifications of haphazardly selected items like a “hat” or “sail.” Along with a tutorial most users will likely find superfluous, the “help” features include a strip index and options for silent reading or audio narration either with or without automatic advance. Several discussion questions about jobs and personal interests follow the story.
A bit livelier than the simultaneously published print edition, but the digital enhancements are anemic at best. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)