In an episode both funny and pointed, a family of slobs receives an ultimatum from their filthy house and its disgusted appliances.
Decrepit outside and dirty inside (“I was ashamed and depressed: was this all a cruel jest? / While my people relaxed, I was totally stressed”), House recruits a squad of equally neglected appliances to eject the oblivious residents until they show more respect. Though wordy enough to require manual scrolling on some screens, the rhymed narrative trots along briskly—particularly in the zesty reading provided by former U.S. presidential candidate Pat Schroeder—to a final proper show of remorse and a vigorous “Clean Revolution.” Easy-to-spot interactive elements jiggle occasionally and are colored more brightly than the angled, informally drawn cartoon backgrounds. They include a plate-spitting dishwasher with a ferocious snarl, a plaintive (and thoroughly grease-encrusted) oven and other touch-activated figures, a roving X-ray spotlight for seeing through House’s walls, ancient food items that can be flicked out of the fridge into a garbage can and miscellaneous general litter to sweep away with a fingertip.
A lesson to be sure, but delivered in a lighthearted blend of equally lively art, sound and animation. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)