This book about Wormtown, where the the worms live and play in a cool underground city, is a truly cute story buried in some very odd programming. It is fanciful enough that my son begged me to buy it and loves to read it and play the worm hide-n-seek game (despite it never having different worm hiding places). Yet we don't actually read it very often because it comes with a very odd audio/video track in place of real narration, lasting just over 5 1/2 minutes.
It's delightful in every way ... except for one important feature, THE SOUND. It is absolutely awful, some sort of poorly recorded music that sounds terribly distorted like someone is playing a bad electric organ - I can't even tell if the song is cute, the sound is so bad. Yet my son wants to 'watch' the animations, which is only possible without sound by muting the iPad. Oh, but wait, now I can't read the book ... since the pages turn before I can finish reading (the song the 'worms' sing is very fast paced from what little I could stand to sample).
So, if I can get my son to accept that mommy is going to skip "the movie" as we call it and instead read him the book in still format, then this book is such a treat. If only it wasn't such a hassle to get to the cute part. Sometimes we'll watch the video with the sound muted after we've read the whole thing together first.
The real value in this book is the story, which is actually very engaging and filled with fun images of 'wormtown'. Hopefully they can fix or change the audio. At least separate it from the animated version and allow page turning. I would also love to know where this story came from ... no author, illustrator (or graphic designer) is listed anywhere. I think until these things are fixed, this would be worth a download just for the book alone.
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 worms of wormtown live in an underground city with roads, big buildings and all the things a modern city has. They tunnel underground and play lots of games. Soon the worms are playing tug of war, etc. and tunneling all around. Soon they are all wiggling, which the book explains is how worms laugh. The book shows us how to join in by wiggling a figer like a worm, to show them you are laughing. Then the book has lots of worms telling a version of knock knock jokes (example: "C'mon Wiggle!" "Wiggle Where?" "Wiggle listen to the singing pepple?" "Wiggle Why?" "Wiggle 'cause the pebble's a real rock star!"). The little worm that in the beginning burrows out of the city is then suddenly trying to avoid danger on the ground above. He gets picked up by a bird but avoids being eaten somehow by telling the birds jokes, just like the 'wigglers' down below. He ends the book flying on the back of the bird, living in worm style.