A saccharine forest-friendship tale chock-full of cute little bugs, frogs, spiders and other wildlife ready to pulse and giggle with a tap.
The story is cast (and also read by the optional narrator) in an earnest tone despite an oxymoronic opening: “One day a young wolf cub named Jack sat in a forest clearing and stared at the night sky.” It pairs Jack with a fallen star that needs help from a spider and an owl to get back to the sky and reattached to its celestial home. Notwithstanding Jack’s “Oh, I feel so lonely sitting here by all by myself,” his cluttered house and each moonlit, elaborately finished, cartoon-style woodland scene is positively festooned with large-eyed small animals. They leap, croak, flit away, wake up, fall down or otherwise respond to taps while background music tinkles away. And just to add some confusion to the sugar rush, a shadowy, wolf-shaped figure lurks in the bushes in two scenes before slinking away entirely. What’s that about? Readers who (rightly) judge the story worth no more than a quick run-through will find as diversions five coloring pages and five jigsaw puzzles. These are, happily, accessible from any screen.
Pretty at first glance, but unlikely to engage children more than superficially. (iPad storybook app. 5-7)