A far-out meditation on the implications of being born.
This app gushes spiritual sentiment but doesn’t provide a drop of insight or practical relevance. We are born, according to the story, because we are loved. But once here, there’s a whole lot to live up to. “God wishes you to shine / and dazzle bright” and have “a heart like an illumined lamp / and a life like a star / shining forth all of its light.” No pressure. The text assumes that as readers grow, they’ll “show many virtues,” such as living joyfully, learning to pray alone and being helpful and considerate, “just as a child of God would be.” Beyond that there’s no context, no specifics—just a whole lot of trivial moralizing wrapped in a syrupy, mawkish text. Illustrations are bright and cheery, comprised of what one might expect with the accompanying narrative: stars and butterflies, balloons and ponies, with children frolicking in the meadow or floating through the air. Interaction is limited and profoundly basic. There are bonus jigsaw puzzles, matching games and a paint feature. “Personalized” text can be inserted in the story, and readers can access prayers/scripture from a variety of faiths—everything from Bahá'í to Zoroastrianism—which can be recorded, either visually (iPad 2) or audibly (iPad 1).
A dazzly dud. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)