A happy boy joins chirping birds and other cute little animals around a smiling tree to celebrate the pleasure of sharing.
Boy, skunk, birds, a squirrel and a bee pop up in successive sunny cartoon scenes in the patterned tale, each getting a handshake or some other favor from the tree and uttering a line (“I love nuts!”) both then and in following scenes when tapped. Nightfall brings brief anxiety as the tree loses sight of its snoozing companions until moonlight in the next scene illuminates them. The rhymed text, read woodenly in a child’s voice, runs to lines like, “The skunk walks by and is quite shy / so the tree invites him to climb up high,” and “Sharing with friends is the lesson, you see, / even for a tree or a small child like me.” The software design is better than the art or writing—offering multiple buttons and sliders to configure the background music and other sounds, retractable text boxes on each screen, a large contents strip, manual and autoplay options and a variety of touch-activated animations and effects.
A saccharine variant on The Giving Tree, but conceived and designed particularly for children with special needs. A portion of the proceeds will go to Autism Speaks. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)