From Belugaboo Books, this app features a quirky twist on the familiar story about a race between the slowest and fastest creatures. The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare invites young readers to cheer along as perseverance pays off. Published in print in 2011, this fun tale is told in well-crafted rhyme by Kristyn Crow with Christina Forshay's richly drawn illustrations. The story is 'groovy', with fun dialogue that gives it a more modern feel, although it's a little bit more circa 1970, than 21st century.
The moral is intact from the traditional tale of the tortoise and the hare, along with hints of "country mouse, city mouse". A sporty hare is shown leaving a busy city scene before bumping into the tortoise at the county fair and challenging him to a race. The over-confident hare doesn't just nap - he has a day of fun that includes some delightful scenes. My favorite, by far, was of the hare doing an Elvis impersonation on stage in full costume.
Pages slide to reveal a second scene in most cases, but readers will need to be careful not to miss this by turning the page (via arrows) too soon. The worst part of this technical set-up, however, was that in 'read myself' mode, the text slid on its own before my child could finish reading, causing some frustration (you can turn back easily). Interactive elements are fun but sparse enough to keep young readers focused on the engaging storyline. Light animation is also polished but not designed to steal the show.
Page turning can be touchy however, and the book has no settings to adjust volume or turn off the background music, which can become annoying. I recommend muting the device in the non-narrated mode, which is also not interactive. The narration is nice but doesn't highlight word-for-word. Text enlarges with a simple double-tap, which could be especially useful for adults with vision issues when sharing this book with a child. Unfortunately there is no page guide, only a home button, making navigation difficult.
It's the storytelling, however, that makes this title special. The nicely crafted verse makes reading The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare an appealing experience for young and old alike, but it's Forshay's expressive artwork that really left an impression on me most. Download today for a sweet, short story that is charming and humorous.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Kristyn Crow/Christina Forshay
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
English • Spanish •
"Deep inside the city was a hip and happy hare.
He was zippy, sometimes lippy, takin' taxis everywhere.
Way out in the country was a tortoise calm and cool.
He was quite the mellow fellow chillin' out beside the pool."
Kids will love to move and groove with this dynamic duo as they hop and pop towards the finish line in this hip-hopping retelling of the classic tale.