A song-turned–storybook app from the second track on Marley’s Grammy-winning children’s album, Family Time.
The app is a word-for-word mirror of the reggae star’s poetic ode celebrating mutual love. Many songs tell some sort of story, of course, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily translate well to a book format. This one works reasonably well, but the developers didn’t go out of their way to innovate or accentuate the content. Interaction is the Oceanhouse standard, consisting of turning pages and tapping on various characters and objects, which elicits brief visual and auditory descriptions. Readers and/or their loved ones can narrate the story by recording themselves reading the text; once that’s been done, the recorded version becomes the default narration unless otherwise specified from the menu. The main menu offers four options: “Read to Me,” “Read it Myself,” “Auto Play” and “Sing Along.” The latter two are identical, except one is read and one is sung (both by Marley). Illustrations (uncredited) are crisp, vibrant and endearing. It is a pity that there’s no mechanical interaction or animation beyond screen panning, as the infectious bounce of the song is ill-served by the staid treatment.
Nevertheless, while the repetitive refrains pile up near the beginning and the end, the message is one kids will probably never tire of hearing: “I love you too / I love you too / I tell you I love you.” (iPad storybook app. 2-5)