It’s a running joke with parents: Buy your kids expensive toys, and they’ll end up playing with the box.
In this story, a young boy turns an ordinary box into a series of adventures. Among other things, he imagines that a box can be a submarine, a spaceship, a race car or an airplane. Each vignette is represented by one brief sentence on one screen. Each sentence ends with a long “e” sound, making for a limply rhyming experience, though scansion suffers. The young narrator does a fine job reading the text and (assumedly) providing rudimentary sound effects. But he doesn’t have a whole lot of material to work with. One thing that might’ve improved the story is an intermittent reminder that each scenario is an imagined journey that takes place within a box. Unfortunately, after the first mention of the cardboard container, the story steamrolls through eight make-believe voyages without reinforcing the role imagination plays in the process. In terms of interaction, this app offers an absolute bare-bones experience. There are a few touch-and-drag movements and a handful of tap-activated sound effects, but beyond that, it doesn’t even begin to explore or utilize the vast technological landscape that the iPad affords.
Ho-hum. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)