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THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER by Rebecca Emberley


illustrated by Rebecca Emberley ; Ed Emberley ; developed by Little Bahalia Publishing

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2014
Publisher: Little Bahalia Publishing

Based on a favorite classic finger rhyme, this app features accompanying music and vocals by jazz musician Peter Black.

Although bright and colorful, this “itsy-bitsy” spider is large and a little scary. Utilizing the Emberleys’ relatively new approach that utilizes eye-poppingly bright colors within designs inflected by Aboriginal influences, the background illustrations consist of a few raindrops, a black hole to represent the drain and a yellow sun. Coloration aside, the spider is laudably realistic, with curved, pointy fangs and at least six eyes visible at all times; though not hairy like a tarantula, it nevertheless looks menacingly predatory and large on the mostly featureless background. Garth Williams didn’t do extreme close-ups of Charlotte for a reason. Readers may be nonplussed (or even happy) to find it on its back looking rather dead as the sun dries up all the rain. Never fear; it lives to go up the spout again anyway. There is not much here to carry the storyline along for little ones, and in the interactive reading feature, the animation only serves to make this spider even creepier. Unfortunately, kids old enough to enjoy a scary spider will be well past the nursery-song stage.

Give this one a miss.

(iPad nursery-rhyme app. 1-4)