There must be something about the (rights-free) story of the three homeowner pigs and that hungry wolf that appeals to iPad-app developers. There are so many versions of it—at least 20 by our count—for Apple's tablet that it's fair to say it's become a blank slate upon which to try different features on an easy, familiar story.
Developer So Ouat!'s contribution to the subgenre is that its version is cleanly packaged with Saturday-morning-cartoon–style pigs that live inside a virtual book. Users can choose an ages-5-and-under version or opt for a more complex one for children 6 and up. The "Show Me" tab triggers a feature that underlines words in the text; tapping those words brings up a drawing that defines the word. "Tell Me" reads the story, and an "Explain Me" tab offers the written definitions of tricky words. That's in the older version, which also includes a cursive version of the text, highlighted vowels and French and Spanish editions of the story. Despite the extensive frills, though, the text is sloppy and in need of some polish. "It was hard work and took a long time to build, but the house was even more beautiful and much stronger than the other two little pigs," reads one unfortunate, apostrophe-deprived sentence.
It just goes to show that even with a unique take on a classic, you can still go wrong with the basics. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)