This unique new digital book app is an undersea adventure. Three friends explore the ocean, a deep sea cavern and even help a stranded submarine along the way. This book app is also fun because it moves through pages that go forward and then down and back up when the trio explore the sea cave, challenging our notion of a strictly linear storyline.
Plip, Shella & Jelly are the main characters that get together one day to explore the seabed. They discover a hole and explore its darkness until one of the fish has an epiphany triggered by a sneeze. The storyline is fun although their 'adventures' were a bit anti-climatic since all they do is go down into the sea hole and then return home safely without really 'discovering' anything. The graphics are delightful though, in addition to beautiful background music, sound effects and professional narration.
The story has very minimal interaction although it is creative. if you have an iPad 2 or iPhone 4 (with front-facing camera) there is a scene where the reader is relected in the mirror where little Shella is admiring herself. The motion-sensor of the device is also used throughout to cause the sea to tilt in one direction or the other, although the overall effect is a bit underwhelming. Another cool scene has the reader tasked with 'helping' the submarine restore its headlights by shouting 'atishoo' (although this can be triggered by talking or other noise in the reading environment, so to get the ideal effect pause quietly to let the child make a 'sneeze' sound). 'Atishoo' is the Enlgish way of writing 'ah-choo' or the onomotopoeia for the sound made by a sneeze, btw.
Overall, this is an original storybook app with a lot of charm. The images & sounds are enchanting, giving the feeling of being underwater. And the storyline, while simple, is a fun exploration with cute sea creatures. The app even has a 'map' of the story instead of a page guide; this visual representation of the pages is very cool, showing the adventure in a way that encapsulates the whole story in a kind of visual plot map that reinforces story comprehension. And to top all of this off, you can even personalize this app with not only the child's name but also take a snapshot of them (or uploard one from your photo library).
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Brandwidth Marketing Ltd
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 3 - 8
One day a little fish named Plip decided to go for swim. He wanted to have an exciting adventure and to explore the sea. He runs into his friends, Jelly, Spout & Shella. Spout thinks the exploration sounds too scary, but Shella & Jelly accompany Plip down a big hole in the sea floor. An arrow points down saying, "Danger, Big Hole. Keep Out".
The trio decend into the dark sea hole. They are very scared until suddenly Plip sneezes and this causes him to glow! Now they can see to get out of the dark under-sea cavern. They pass many spiky fish on the way up. When they return to the ocean floor it is night-time and also dark in the rest of the ocean.
Luckily, Plip was still glowing, so the three friends made their way home with his light. On their way home they run into a submarine that is stranded because its headlights have gone out. The reader is asked for help, and noise triggers the headlights to come back on.
When the friends return safely they realize that they would like to go on another adventure, just not one so dark, so they want to avoid big holes (unless their friend happens to sneeze, that is).