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STONE SOUP by Wang Meijan


by Wang Meijan ; illustrated by Gan Gan ; developed by Wawa Mouse

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 2013
Publisher: Wawa Mouse

A sweet version of the classic story features a trio of traveling bunnies and much tap-activated bouncing and giggling.

The text is just a bit too long to fit into single views on each screen, and there are a few rough patches, translationwise (“When spring came, three rabbits went on a journey to afar in the bright sunshine of springtime”). Nevertheless, the tale runs along smoothly whether read aloud with careful deliberation by several high-pitched narrators or in “Read Myself” mode. The wide-eyed, all-animal cartoon cast blinks on its own but wiggles and twitches back and forth with, usually, an electronic boop or other sound effect when touched; on one screen, multiple taps not only turn day into night before the climactic feast, but convey the delicious soup’s aroma with brilliant displays of multicolored stars and fireworks. The page advance is only manual, which allows readers to control the pacing, and an inconspicuous gear icon on every screen allows access to a page index and replay button, as well as sound and (English/Chinese) language switches, plus the now-standard quick access to various social media.

The moral at the end drops more heavily than the rocks into the pot, but that doesn’t spoil the tale’s ever-nutritious theme. (iPad storybook app. 5-9)