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developed by Mark Holme by The Brothers Grimm illustrated by Bernhard Oberdieck

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 14th, 2012
Publisher: Mark Holme

A disappointingly flawed version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale.

The storyline in this effort sticks quite close to the original: An aging donkey, dog, cat and rooster all flee from their abusive masters. After a couple of encounters with human thieves, the animals settle in a cottage where they live happily ever after (though they never make it to Bremen). Oberdieck’s lovely illustrations are bathed in warm, muted tones, making the artwork by far the app’s greatest asset. The technological elements are almost all illogical or only marginally functional, though. There’s a story map that corresponds to numbered sections, but it takes far too long to decipher. Interaction is scant and repetitious. The most problematic issue is the “record me reading” feature. Small signs at the bottom of each screen labeled “page” and “paragraph” record the reader’s voice when tapped, but they are activated for predetermined segment lengths (which are not communicated to the reader), and there's no clear play-back control. There are a few other worthwhile elements, but they're hopelessly lost in the myriad technological and navigational quandaries.

The developers would do well to either give this app a major overhaul or put it out to pasture. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)