Interactive diversions are given considerably more attention than the story in this multilingual version of the Aesopian fable.
Giving neither Aesop nor any other source a mention, the briefly retold tale has Fox, “wanting to pleaseher [sic] new friend” (rather than to play a trick), inviting Crane over for a “treat” that Crane cannot eat, as it’s served in a bowl. Crane returns the invitation and serves a meal to Fox in a long-necked vase—thus sending her away peeved and ending the supposed friendship. The text is available in six European languages including the original Russian, plus “English USA” and “English GB.” Details vary considerably in these last two versions (which are read in appropriate accents) and don’t always agree with the illustrations: The American Fox serves oatmeal and gets corn chowder in return, and the British one gets soup after dishing up rice pudding, but in neither rendition is any oatmeal, rice or corn visible in the respective kitchen scenes. Furthermore, the wording isn’t always sure in either rendition—the British Crane unintuitively “peck[s] up all the soup”; the American Fox “mill[s] around the pitcher”—and the American moral, “What goes around comes around,” is both absent in the other and likely to flummox young readers in any country. Delicately drawn illustrations with a traceable maze, a “concentration” game and other touch-responsive features can’t compensate for the story’s fundamental incoherence.
There’s a moral here, but it’s not the intended one. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)