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THE WORLD OF SAM by Sophie  Jansem


by Sophie Jansem & illustrated by Sophie Jansem & developed by Avant-Goût Studios

Age Range: 1 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2012
Publisher: Avant-Gout Studios

A well-balanced interactive story chronicles the life of a whimsical little pig.

In the opening scene of this sweet tale, Sam is rifling through his mother’s purse. Much like a clown car at the circus, the bag appears to have no bottom, and Sam keeps pulling items out of it as long as readers keep tapping him. The other 19 pages offer similar interactions, all of which offer clues about what makes Sam unique. He likes to read and sleep in on Sunday mornings, and he insists on kicking a soccer ball around the house (the last activity eventually results in a “cracked” tablet screen). Of particular interest is his affinity for playing dress-up in women’s clothing and his love of dance; both Sam and his parents seem completely and refreshingly comfortable eschewing gender stereotypes. Illustrations are soft, uncluttered and washed in muted colors, an approach that leaves room for the straightforward interactions and the story itself. Each page has a distinctive audio presentation (music/sound effects) and can be narrated or read in English, French or Russian. The only negative is that the story ends abruptly. Readers will likely look for a way to turn the page, as there’s no visual or textual signal that the story is over.

Flawed ending aside, it’s an admirable first effort. (iPad storybook app, 18 mos.-5)