A dream come true for any reader amused by a cartoon character who turns purple and piddles at a touch.
At the behest of an enchanted frog, young trickster Moro leaps into a world of monsters in search of a magical ring and lantern. Transformed into a monster, he dubs himself Tobi (“That name makes me want to barf!” jeers a rival creature), retrieves the tokens—and then discovers that the frog is really an evil witch. The plot is cobbled together from set pieces and arbitrary shifts, and the English text (switchable to Korean) is burdened by misspellings and lines like, “Moro became very interested in this very interesting toad.” So diverse and is the array of special features and effects, however, that the actual story is practically incidental. Touch- or tilt-activated sound effects, animations and shape changes on nearly all of the 37 screens range from the aforementioned tinkle to a musical staircase, sprays of golden glitter, an inventive reflection-in-water scene and a wonderfully scary witch lunging at viewers. Options include an audio narration and a musical track, both equally effervescent, and a menu icon opens either a numbered index of thumbnails or a PowerPoint-like “Memo” feature that allows readers to make notes on slides of each page. With the talking lantern’s help, Moro-Tobi overcomes the witch in the end, and then sets off for further adventures. Children can tackle the ensuing study questions while they wait.
Not the most coherent series opener, but certainly fully featured. (iPad storybook app. 7-9)