Gary the gopher thinks his parents’ hole is too crowded, so when they give him permission to dig an underground home of his own, terra firma presents no limits.
He digs one hole, and then, needing furniture to fill it, he excavates a workroom in which to build furniture. He digs another hole and then another: a kitchen, a bath, a game room, a guest room, a home theater with a separate movie snack room, a gym in which to work off the movie snacks and finally a steamy hot-tub room in which to soak his tired muscles from all that digging! He enjoys what he builds, but he still isn’t satisfied. Until one day, on one last dig, his swimming pool doesn’t quite work out, and Gary learns that sometimes less is more. Bolstered by a compelling narrator (Gary’s dad sounds like he’s from New Jersey) and spot-on sound effects, the animation shines here. Don’t miss Gary building furniture, wiggling his toes in his bubble bath, hitting the treadmill in his gym or the great flood that flushes Gary, a fish and Gary’s eclectic collection back to the surface. The simple, highlighted text makes this a solid primer for pre-readers.
Prime real estate in iPad-app world: a simple story that’s well-told, cleverly illustrated and efficiently supported by a little nugget of real discovery at the end. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 4-8)