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THE 12 MONTHS by William Lindmeier


adapted and illustrated by William Lindmeier developed by William Lindmeier

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: March 24th, 2012
Publisher: William Lindmeier

A charming Cinderella tale from the Czech tradition suffers from amateurish computer illustrations, a lack of features and no narration.

Marusa lives happily with her father in a house in the woods next to an apple tree, until her father takes a second wife, a woman with a jealous daughter. When her father dies, the apple tree withers, and the stepmother and stepsister make Marusa’s life miserable. In the dead of winter, they send her out to find violets, then strawberries and finally apples. Each time, she gets help from 12 men she finds sitting around a fire; they represent the 12 months. Finally, the stepmother and stepsister venture out to find more of the delicious fruit, but when they are rude to the men, the men disappear and leave them lost in the forest. Marusa plants a new apple tree, and readers find her seven years later, happily married and living in her childhood home. Though the story doesn't necessarily call for complex artwork, these illustrations, drawn on the iPad with Inkpad, are regrettably simplistic and unemotional. Some of the words are voiced or have sound effects (touch "apple" to trigger a crunching sound), and there are a few animations, but those are the only features. A navigation bar at the bottom works well. 

This little-known folktale deserves better treatment; Rafe Martin's picture book of the same name, illustrated by Vladyana Langer Krykorka, is a much better alternative. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)