From the developers behind the 5-Star book app, Will & Kate: A Love Story, comes another hit. Attention to detail, polished enhancements, and top notch pacing make anything by Ink Robin a must-download app. This title treats readers to a story about a little boy with a BIG imagination. Leonard wants to make friends, but after moving to the country he discovers that it is harder than ever to find anyone to play with. He (and his blue cat) have many whimsical adventures before Leonard decides to build a friend instead (robot lovers will enjoy this plot twist).
From the moment you open this app, there is something to amuse, even on the cover page. A small 'lever' appears on most of the 18 pages, letting readers slide to advance the story and see a magical new scene appear. Leonard (and his cat) appear in most of these 'fantasy' scenarios, showing the things Leonard is pretending; from a lion tamer (kitty is fierce as a blue lion) to an astronaut (climbing a a ladder that happens to lead into outer space), there isn't a single interaction that is superfluous to the story. Fabulous narration is optional (although it doesn't highlight as read).
Like all the apps I've seen from Ink Robin, this one is intuitive and well-made. It features a nice page guide, simple settings to navigate and solid swipe-style page-turning. The well-crafted story is in an easy to read font, although the reading level is probably closer to 4-6th grade for children who want to use the 'read it myself' mode. Children of all ages will enjoy listening to the story and 'playing' with all the spectacular scenes. The page with bugs you can squish crawling all over the screen was a personal favorite of my little boy.
Overall this is simply a stellar app that has become a frequent request of my child ... since we are moving soon ourselves, it has been a perfect conversation-starter as well about the transitions that children go through when making new friends. With dramatic sound effects and animation that is polished but not show-stealing, this book app delivers a story that children (and adults) will enjoy reading over and over. My highest recommendation!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Ink Robin/Timothy Penner
Ink Robin, Inc
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 4 - 8
Leonard is a little boy with an 'excellent imagination.' He pretends he is racing on a horse when riding his bike, even. But when his parents say they are leaving the city and moving to the country, Leonard mostly imagines making lots of new friends. However, it is hard to even find other kids easily in a rural area.
Leonard is determined to find someone to be a friend, so he (and his blue cat) head into the forest. They meet bugs, but no people. At the stream they look but only find fish. They keep hunting for other kids, but only find animals and an endless supply of imaginary adventures. Leonard even tries to play with his little sister, but her party with dolls is not his 'cup of tea'.
Just as Leonard is about to lose hope, he decides to build his own friend, gathering materials like boxes. His creation, a robot, is big and powerful looking. Soon, at a park near his home, several children arrive to see about the robot. He and his new friends then pretend to be pirates.