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KODEE'S CANOE by Nicole  Stinn


by Nicole Stinn & Greg Tiernan & developed by Nitrogen Studios

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: June 30th, 2012
Publisher: Nitrogen Studios

Little polar bear Kodee and his friend Raccoon learn about echoes in this suitably simple storybook for preschoolers and early readers.

Nitrogen Studios—known for providing the stunning computer-generated animation in the wildly popular Thomas and Friends television/DVD franchise—has transitioned into the app market with a notable effort. It is perhaps best described as a mashup of stunning graphics, smooth animation and gentle interaction. Kodee and Raccoon hear someone yell, “Hello,” but they can’t figure out who’s saying it. After deciding the voice is coming from a nearby island, the duo sets out in the titular canoe to investigate. Readers can help them put on life jackets, summon flying fish and prompt a number of delightful movements and responses from various animals and insects. In the end, Kodee and Raccoon discover that the voices they heard were their own, and the concept of echoes is introduced. Readers are subsequently invited to make their own echoes with a record/playback feature. In addition to the app’s (optional) professional narration, various individuals can also record up to three versions of the story, which can be saved for later playback. The only downsides are an annoying pop-up triggered when leaving the echo chamber or going to the home screen that continually requests a review in the app store (the “Do not ask again” button doesn’t halt the appeals) and the fact that it will not work on iPad 1.

A very well-balanced offering that both educates and entertains. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)