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BLUE BERNARD by Nathalie Tousnakhoff


From the Colorful World series

by Nathalie Tousnakhoff & illustrated by Matt Roussell & developed by Square Igloo

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 2013
Publisher: Square Igloo

The second in an app series called Colorful World, this follow-up to Zoe’s Green Planet (2013) follows Bernard, who is “blue from head to toe” on an all-pink planet.

Bernard’s blue family seems fine with the situation, living happily in a pink house and watching all-pink television, but Bernard is not. After a failed attempt to paint himself pink to fit in with his bullying classmates, Bernard meets a visitor from another planet. It’s Zoe, on her way to visit her friend on the faraway red planet. Zoe and Bernard become friends as they repair Zoe’s ship, and the story ends with the two preparing to fly away together. As with the first app, the star attraction here is the papier-mâché artwork, which lends startling depth and texture to the subtly moving backgrounds and animation. Games integrated into the story (a maze; a fish-sorting challenge) can also be accessed from the main menu, along with options to display text, mute ambient sounds or enable narration. The story feels stale, though. Bernard learns the same lesson—that people of different colors are similar after all—that Zoe did in her app, and ending this volume without the catharsis of space flight disappoints.

Taken as a whole with future Colorful World chapters, the series may add up to something greater. Bernard’s story alone is lovely to look at with too few shades between its primary hues. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)