Like a Next Gen version of a lift-the-flap Spot story, this digital cat-and-mouse chase features very simple art, familiar settings and hidden surprises in every scene. Milo, a blue cat, chases a giggling mouse through a living room, across a piano, up and down stairs, through the kitchen and a playroom tunnel to a waiting surprise. As he chases, viewers can touch furniture, knickknacks and other parts of the backgrounds to activate a variety of sound effects and small movements. In many cases, different effects are activated with successive touches to the same area. The full-screen scenes are animated at a deliberate pace just right for very young viewers. Each swipe moves the setting to new, empty room through which the characters bound energetically after a moment, then freeze into tableaus as a line or phrase of text appears word by word and a male narrator provides a lively reading. Because the smaller special effects on each page can only be activated one at a time and tend to stop the plot in its tracks, they are best reserved for successive readings…of which there will be plenty, thanks to the unusual range of interactive features and child-friendly art and design. In a likely portent of things to come, the app actually precedes a print edition, due out later this year. Here's hoping the paper romp is as engaging as the digital one. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)
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