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THE PARTY THIEF by Mikael Ali  Larsson


From the Liam & the Fifflers series

by Mikael Ali Larsson & illustrated by Mikael Ali Larsson & developed by ACNE Production

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2012
Publisher: Acne Production

A slapdash digital mini-mystery lacks a visible text or even relevant interactive effects.

Translated from Swedish, the audio-only narrative sends dark-skinned young Liam, a shmoo-shaped friend and a gang of wormlike little “Fifflers” on the hunt for birthday-party fixings that have disappeared overnight. The party is only delayed a little, though, because, by following a wandering trail of tiny black footprints, they eventually discover that the thief was the intended guest of honor. Done in a cartoon style strongly reminiscent of Annette Tison and Talus Taylor’s Barbapapa tales, the 16 manually advanced scenes feature lots of tiny creatures and details. A select few of the latter will respond to taps with a small random movement or noise that bears no relationship to the story’s events. As another sign that the creators haven’t thought things through, a large button visible on every screen silences the narration, which, though read so fast it's hard to understand, at least makes the plot possible to follow.

Tap-happy toddlers may enjoy working the sound effects, but even they will likely lose interest after a few moments. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)