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SCRUFFY KITTY by Michael Slack Kirkus Star


by Michael Slack & illustrated by Michael Slack & developed by WingedChariot

Age Range: 1 - 4

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 2010
Publisher: WingedChariot

This multilingual 17-page story-and-sticker app for the youngest readers charms. Simple rhyming text, one line per page, describes the daily activities of a lovably imperfect cat (“Scruffy Kitty adores the moon / Scruffy Kitty sings out of tune”) up until bedtime. Even the narrator seems to laugh at Scruffy Kitty’s antics, reinforcing readers’ responses. A muted blue background emphasizes the softness of the nighttime setting, while the spiky illustrations convey Scruffy Kitty’s energy. The page layout matches the uncluttered composition, with no navigation or other buttons to distract. The text fades in as it is read, then the page’s interactive element (usually Scruffy) pulses or appears to breathe. When tapped, he moves and makes a range of noises, revealing personality and emotion. (Note: Once read or tapped, text/objects cannot be immediately replayed. Move on.) There is a separate sticker activity, available off the main menu, that allows readers to generate scenes from Scruffy Kitty’s life on a digital canvas incorporating these images: duck, guitar, bath, moon, dustbin, door, grasshopper, tree, and mouse. Creations can be saved to the device’s photo library. Narration is available in English (with a British accent), French (Chaton Chiffon), Dutch (Zwerfkatje), Spanish (El Gato Solito) or Japanese. Toddlers will fall in love with Scruffy Kitten and this gently engaging app from Europe. (iPad storybook app. 1-4)