This is a remarkable little app that lets the reader drive the direction of the story. It stars a little mole, ready for sleep with his teddy bear and striped pajamas. But his nice day's sleep is interrupted by two construction workers digging a hole; now Sleepy Mole has to move on and find a new home. The charming little rodent burrows throughout the story until he finds a new place to sleep.
In digital, there is nothing about the format that requires linear storytelling, so this innovative book allows the reader to choose the direction that the little mole will dig - either up, down, left or right. The effect is very fun. It is even easy to feel as lost as the little mole while choosing one direction after another.
There are 16 animals the mole can stumble upon during his underground adventure, creating the sense that you are traveling in a vast world of unending tunnels. Eventually the mole finds an empty spot to make his bed, although if the story ends too quickly it is possible to start over for a whole new adventure. This is a terrific story and very engaging app for kids. The text itself is well-crafted, and nicely enhanced with narration. There is no page guide, but a nice 'creature guide' shows all the possible animals that Sleepy Mole might encounter on his non-linear journey.
Overall, this is solidly made app with light animation (just the tunneling mole) and charming illustrations. The only real interactivity is the ability to choose the story's direction, but when it comes to storytelling, this is one of the best ways to involve the reader. A top notch digital book that kids will want to read over and over. Highly Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
James Scanlon/Melanie Matthews
James Scanlon Pty. Ltd.
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Sleepy mole is interrupted from his daytime nap one day by some construction workers digging a hole. The noise and light upset the little mole, so he goes digging for a new home. Along the way, he meets lots of other animals including a badger, rabbit, earthworm, frog, glowworms, mice, otter, skunk, squirrel, snakes, groundhog, owl, ants, porcupine, turtle and fox. Eventually he also finds a nice quiet & dark hole of his own to curl up and go back to sleep.