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CLOVER by Scott  Bergstrom


by Scott Bergstrom & illustrated by Amanda O’Brian & developed by Soma Creates & Fentress Architects

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2012
Publisher: Soma Creates

An adventurous dog takes an improbable global trip to find her master.

Clover, a blue Scottie dog wearing a pink scarf, loves her owner, a jet-setting architect who's about to take a work trip to Beijing. Stowing away, Clover winds up in Paris, where she meets a grimy street canine named Le Rat. The two find transportation to Moscow, then Beijing in a journey filled with conversation, coincidences and many humans willing to look the other way while dogs rack up frequent-traveler miles. The app stands out by eschewing all buttons and navigation prompts for an endless series of swipes. Moving a finger from right to left along the iPad screen advances the story as if it were on a roller, revealing an ongoing series of warmly painted animations. It's a beautiful method of creating an interactive book, but it's also exhausting. The story is so long that it requires dozens and dozens of swipes to get to the end of the tale, and swiping too quickly or too slowly wrecks the pace. The text isn't inspired, even for a story largely set in the mind of a restless dog: "Clover thought about how much she'd miss her friend and how much she had always wanted to see China." 

Still, there’s a lot to admire in an app sprung from a bold design choice that errs on the side of simplicity and which, for the most part, works very well. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)