Children will enjoy the novelty of navigating around 3-D rooms to follow this story, but unfortunately, this app still leaves much to be desired.
Jill, a bright orange sock, is certainly a devoted friend. When she realizes her sock-mate, Jack, is missing, she sets out to find him before their little boy, Johnny, wakes up. Young children will find it amusing to think of their socks wandering off in the middle of the night to play. As they follow Jill’s hunt, readers navigate through the story using directional arrows reminiscent of early video games. Tapping the arrows reveals that the text is written on the walls of the rooms in Johnny’s house, which “rotate” around the reader; pressing the up or down arrows “moves” readers from room to room. While the writing is quite active, the illustrations are oddly static, lacking motion and details that might develop the story. When Jill “[runs] into the kitchen and searche[s] every corner of the room,” the picture just shows a ho-hum kitchen stove and cupboards. The text dominates many of the pages, filling more space than the illustrations. This imbalance slows the pacing of what should be an exciting hunt. The canned music is an orchestral mismatch and drowns out the narration; at least it can easily be turned off.
Sadly, the originality of this app’s design is not supported by illustrations that extend the story. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)