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MOTHER HOLLE by The Brothers Grimm


by The Brothers Grimm & developed by Imagination Stairs

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 2011
Publisher: Imagination Stairs

A prim, Grimm tale in which two characters receive their respective just deserts for industry and laziness is poorly served by bland illustrations and clumsy design.

Forced down a well to recover a dropped spindle, the beautiful and hardworking stepdaughter (“the Cinderella of the family”) rescues burning cakes and shakes a tree full of ripe apples. She then so pleases long-toothed old Mother Holle with her housework that she receives a shower of gold. Her ugly, lazy stepsister leaps down the well in hopes of a similar prize but behaves badly and instead earns a shower of “tar” that “stuck to her as long as she lived.” Lightly edited from 19th-century translations, the text is complete but appears on each screen only piecemeal and in varied sizes before coming to a sudden, jarring close. Though Mother Holle’s teeth look disquietingly like vampire fangs, the other women are rendered in a twee style, with flowing dresses on undersized bodies and fixed expressions beneath big, disheveled hair. Animations are both rare and strictly minor league, and the touch-activated ones too often effect premature page turns by accident. Semi-transparent icons on each screen control the sonic-wallpaper background music and offer an optional, mannered audio reading either with visible text and manual advance or in a text-free auto-advance mode; .

An insipid rendition, with a stingy assortment of anemic interactive features. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)