Theo and the Letter Eater brings retro-space charm to a story about a strange creature that eats letters to learn to read. The star of the book is Theo, a little guy in a diving/flying costume that looks like a space suit from a 1950's sci-fi movie. When Theo gets an S.O.S. from the mayor, the little superhero must solve the mystery of the 'letter valley'. Letters seem to be disappearing from the vocabulary, making it difficult for people to talk properly.
So Theo sets out, diving in the ocean and then flying around the land to find the problem. He spots a strange creature taking bites out of the alphabet in the famed 'letter valley'. It turns out the creature, Briccolino, wants to learn to read and knowing no other way, is trying to absorb that knowledge by eating letters. Theo instead teaches him to read so he can understand the ancient texts left from his forefathers.
This book has a unique look & style. The colors are muted with minimalist computer generated animation that spices up the story without taking over the experience. It is a well made app with simple page turning and easy navigation. The book also has a high-quality musical score. There are controls in the iPad settings to adjust the volume of the music and sound effects, as well as change the language to any one of three options: English, French or Italian. The book is not narrated, however.
I really enjoyed sharing this story with my son, but would have enjoyed it even more if I could find out more about Theo and his little world. I kept hoping there would be more details about the people with missing letters or the reason for the 'letter valley'. It's a great book, just as it is, but with narration and a deeper plot, this book could be a chart topper.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Maurizio De Bellis
6 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 10
English • French • Italian •
Theo is a 'little super hero' who answers a call for help from the mayor of his city. Something has happened and letters are missing from the vocabulary. So Theo explores the land, looking for the 'letter valley'. He finds the famous valley and discovers a large bird-like creature eating the letters. Briccolino, the creature, wanted to learn to read so he decided to try to eat his way to this knowledge. Theo tells him that's not how you learn to read and instead teaches him properly. Now Briccolino can read the writing of his ancestors. Months later Theo passes a bookstore and sees "The history of the people of Bricco" authored by his student.