Andie Plays Pretend is a very cute children's book about a little girl who pretends to be a dog, cat & mouse. Her parents go along with her imaginative play, making for a sweet story that will enchant little ones and their parents. The water-color style illustrations are vibrant and inviting. The book is very well made technically, with very nice, easy page turning. However, while the story itself is charming, the way it is presented in iPad form, in particular, misses something.
The story is not narrated, although I could overlook that if the text and pictures were at least on the same page. It felt very odd to read the story and then look at the pictures on separate pages. This style is common in iPhone version of books, but it is not necessary for an iPad version. Perhaps this title was simply transferred from it's small screen version without anything extra but resolution improvements? The resolution is great, of course, compared to the iPhone version at 2x, but it feels sloppy to leave the text and pictures on separate pages.
The illustrations are very attractive overall, although I did have a problem as a parent with the depiction of native Americans on the final page. Andie is imagining what she will pretend to be the next day, and pictured in thought bubbles above her head are a robot and an 'indian'. The 'indian' is very stereotypical of native Americans and reminded me of the images that used to be acceptable but are now often considered offensive.
I also found a typo in the story, where the mom says about the day, "It was such a fun!" I write a lot, so I can understand how a typo can get past a writer, but for an app book it's best to have it proofed more carefully. The story also describes Andie's little stuffed rabbit as being 'white' even though it is pictured as orange. These are little things that could easily be fixed in a future update.
Overall, this is an adorable story that could be much more enjoyable with some changes in it's presentation. In the next update I would highly recommend that the developer re-work this iPad version to be more compatible with the big screen and also add narration with an on/off setting. Text highlighting as it is narrated (with the text integrated with the story) would help this otherwise cute story come alive more on the iPad.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
5 - 7 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
The story begins with Andie (a little girl) crawling on all fours, pretending to be the family dog (named Sadie, we assume from context). Her dad plays along, tossing his slipper for her to 'fetch'. Then Andie's mom suggests she chase the cat in the back garden.
When Andie tries to get in her mom's lap, her mom says, "Sadie, get down!" so Andie decides to become a cat, instead. Now that she's "Sooty" the cat, her mom lets her lie in her lap and be petted. Then she tells her to go catch a mouse that's been eating up all of their cheese. Andie comes back with a stuffed rabbit in her mouth like a cat with a mouse.
Then mom puts a few pieces of cheese on a plate and dad says, "I am going to see if Sooty caught the mouse ..." While Andie crawls on all fours to nibble on the cheese (now pretending to be a mouse), her dad grabs her and lifts her to the ceiling, saying "Here she is! Our little mouse!"
Then dad carries Andie off to bed. After her bedtime story, Andie lies in bed and imagines what she will play tomorrow. Two thought bubbles above her head show the reader that tomorrow she might be a robot or an 'indian'.