HANSEL AND GRETEL by Yasmin Studios


developed by
Age Range: 3 - 7
Available on the App Store
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Not unlike creepy-eyed dolls that never seem quite as cute as they're meant to be, there's something a little off about this adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale. All the elements are there: the wayward kids, the mean stepmother, the breadcrumbs left behind in the woods, the witch and her candy-laden house. But the illustrations and animation seem too clean and happy for a story that ends with a woman burning to death in her own home. In fact, the grinning faces of Hansel and Gretel, toting bags of treasure on their backs as they walk away from the burning house is enough to give any parent pause before choosing this app for a bedtime story. Not that the app's eerily cheery approach is the only problem. The sound mix is uneven, with music overpowering the narration. The sound effects are generic (at least one of the character's audio cues is identical to those featured in another app by the same developer). And the on-screen text is too small; on one page it doesn't fit on the screen, requiring readers scroll to catch the last line. Readers can also reposition characters and objects on the screen, moving them from place to place by dragging them with a finger, but it's a feature that seems to exist just ’cause, not to add any value to the story. If this app got lost in the woods like Hansel and Gretel, it isn't likely it would be missed. Quick, somebody scoop up those breadcrumbs. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)



Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Yasmin Studios
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2011


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