A flight of butterflies is frustrated by a spider’s many webs, and users will find this story app just as frustrating as they try to trigger the speech-activated features.
Spring is here, and the butterflies are flying to their favorite meadow by Sugar Creek. Rhyming text and soft digital art create a happy feeling. There is no narration for this story; instead, the animations are activated by readers’ voices. Regrettably, this app suffers from a host of problems. Grammatical errors—in part probably due to the need to suit scansion—are rife in this app and will pose comprehension difficulties for young readers. For instance, the butterflies are shocked to find that a spider has spun many webs among the flowers. “Just one we agreed, not this many that’s what we said.” Furthermore, the story misses an important opportunity to model conflict resolution. Instead of seeking compromise, the butterflies simply demand that Mr. Spider take down his webs. Young children know that this would never be successful—neither in nature nor on the playground. The speech-generated animations do not work smoothly or consistently, and readers may need to repeat a sentence several times before the screen changes.
Unfortunately, this simple story with its interesting interactive concept fails to take flight, weighed down by inconsistent features and poor grammar. (Requires iOS 7 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 4-8)