Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PUNKY DUNK AND THE GOLDFISH by Riley Animation Studios


From the Agent Magic Investigates series

illustrated by Riley Animation Studios ; developed by FamLoop

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: June 13th, 2013
Publisher: FamLoop

Another tepid iPad adaptation of the 1912 children’s storybook.

There are perks to publishing a book that has no known author; namely, it’s royalty-free. That may or may not be the reason that this story has once again been imagined for iPad, but the bottom line is that this newest version doesn’t make much more of a splash than the 2011 iteration from Moo Goo Media did. The one exception in this edition is a cute little mouse, Agent Magic, who guides readers through the story and others in his series. Every once in a while, Agent Magic asks for recordable reader feedback and then parrots it back in a marginally disguised voice. There are other interactive “games”—numbering goldfish or drawing food, for example—but there aren’t many active hotspots beyond poking the cat’s nose or splashing water in his face. (Neither is newsworthy.) Readers can make a personalized Secret Agent ID card by tapping to take a photo, and there’s an adults-only family area where screenshots and drawings can be uploaded to Facebook or sent via email. Parents can create an online account with the developer, which allows for avatar selection and a personal photo of the grown-up, but the point of it all isn’t readily apparent.

Combining the pleasantly narrated, yet uninspiring original rhyming text with slick, standard-looking graphics doesn’t add much to this old yarn. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)