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A CRY WOLF TALE HD by Unicorn Labs

A CRY WOLF TALE HD

By Unicorn Labs

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 2011
Publisher: Unicorn Labs

A clever twist on the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” fable, this story of a prankster wolf who continually fools his friends with false sightings of a four-eyed, flea-ridden boy is pretty slick. Told in cute-enough, often-stumbling rhyming couplets (“Wolf said, ‘Don’t worry! Now go back to sleep / I’ll be your protector, this promise I’ll keep’ ”), the narrative is made lively by layered, densely designed cartoon artwork with nice effects. Some of the characters quake in fear, smoke tendrils convincingly float up from a character’s smoking tail and the visual portrayal of the mythical boy-monster is more silly than scary. The creepy camping-trip locale makes for a nice change of pace, too. There’s also great narration, with expressive changes of tone and a memorable shout of, “BOY!” He learns his lesson when his camping companions, which include an owl, a snail, a chicken and other animals, prank him back. If that isn’t clear enough, a page at the beginning of the story lays out the moral even more directly. With all the animation, interactive elements and sound, the app has a tendency to slow down on some page turns, and in our testing sometimes crashed. And it’s curious why so many of Wolf’s friends crowd so many story pages when they have so little to do. That’s likely by design: Just as “The End” appears, a banner invites readers to download another app, Rabbit & Turtle’s Amazing Race, which features all the same animated animals. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)