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by Oksana Grivina & illustrated by Oksana Grivina & developed by Art. Lebedev Studio

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: July 4th, 2011
Publisher: Art. Lebedev Studio

A magical (and at times bizarre) examination of opposites through the lens of an unlikely friendship.

Muchavka is a cute little elf-like girl who has become good friends with a giant. The story chronicles their differences; for example, he’s large and she’s small. He is from the country, and she’s a city girl (which readers might have guessed from the tattoo on her half-clad belly). The animation and interactive elements are breathtaking, and Grivina’s wonderfully peculiar illustrations provide an enchanting plethora of interactive surprises. There are, however, a few confusing and/or disconcerting dimensions to this app. Some of the binary opposites are either odd (fluffy/thorny; noodly/watermelony) or less than optimal representations of polarity (brave/prudent; aquatic/terrestrial). On a few occasions the illustrations actively conflict with the text: The heavy giant is carried away by balloons, or the child is dressed like a grownup. Speaking of age difference, some parents may object to the fact that a grown man and a young girl are "good friends," especially when they picnic in the wilderness alone and both relieve themselves within the same vicinity to demonstrate the difference between boys and girls.

With a redefinition of relationships to remove the creepy undertones and revision of semantic mishaps, this app would warrant an A+. Here’s hoping Grivina will keep at it and get some help with the story next time. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)