Violet's Bunny Trouble is the most recent book in the "Violet" series of book apps. These books are a unique series with interactivity that is integrated nicely into the storyline. The series stars a little girl who wants to be a detective, searching for clues and solving mysteries. In this spring-themed book she helps her classmates find Easter eggs on the school grounds while also tending to a bigger issue, the mystery of the missing class pet, Mr. Cottontail.
This series of titles is solidly made, engaging the reader in the story's plot. The interactive clues are set up in a very thoughtful way that draws the child into the story itself. Every page also has four Easter eggs to be discovered, with or without nice 'outlined' hints. There is a nice page guide included and other easily navigable settings. Links to social media, the web & App Store are a bit too accessible to small children for my tastes as a parent, but other than that, this app is well made.
A nice musical track also plays in the background and the book has simple sound effects when you tap on any one of the items in the story that are highlighted with dotted yellow lines. These clues have tons of fun detail, so even when they aren't integral to the mystery, they are enjoyable. The book is lightly animated, with the eggs and other items moving across the page, including small effects using the device's accelerometer.
Text does not highlight as read, but is in an easy-to-read font with simple, swipe-style page-turning. There are also a few other hidden interactions to discover, like a football that flies in the air, lights that turn off and on, plus lots of eggs that can be flicked and dragged around the page. Find over 50 eggs in total, all beautifully colored with different patterns.
Overall this book is a great read and a lot of fun to 'play' with, too. There is a ton to discover in this book app, plus an ingeniously interactive storyline. It's a complete package and a great choice if you are looking for a top-notch interactive storybook, especially as an Easter treat or for a child (like mine) who loves the whole series of Phantom Girl adventures. Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Allison Keeme/Jeff Keeme (Technical Director)
Black Dog Books, LLC
6 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 4 - 9
This book takes children on an adventure to solve a mystery with a little girl about age 10-12, although the book is also appealing for younger readers who might look up to Violet. The developer's site describes Violet's 'secret' this way: "In a small, peaceful neighborhood, a wonderfully curious and clever girl is about to get herself into a bit of mischief. Her name is Violet and she has a very secret 'SECRET.' When Violet ties on her black satin mask she becomes Phantom Girl, the world’s most daring experimenter!"
In this, her latest adventure, Violet's class is trying to find all the eggs hidden on the playground for the 'spring egg hunt'. All the children are eager to find the most eggs, but unbeknown to them, another mystery is brewing. The cage has been left open for the class pet, a bunny named 'Cottentail' - who will find the rabbit? Violet and her friends look high & low ...
Phantom girl, Violet's alter-ego takes over to search for clues. The friends find many items in the grass, including eggs, but more importantly, Susie finds a hold that leads under the schoolyard fence. The kids follow the trail ... to the class garden! They find many lettuce plants chewed on and then see the bunny running away. The kids continue to search, going to the playground, soccer field and lunch area, where they find the bunny under a picnic table.
At this point, the bunny is cornered an jumps into the familiar arms of 'Phantom girl'. The teacher, Ms. Lemon, is very pleased that Violet and her friends have found Mr. Cottontail. The kids then decide Mr. Cottontail must need a bigger cage. Now Mr. Cottontail was much happier. The end.