Our Overall rating: 4.5
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The Mud Monster

August 27, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Beautiful illustrations and a timeless adventure ...

Edie (a turtle), Pip (a goose) and Kay (a rabbit) are adorable animals who will charm children and adults alike in this new digital picture book by talented artist and author Chantal Bourgonje. There is a timeless quality to this tale, even though it is an original story written for the iPad. Lovers of traditional picture books will dive right into The Mud Monster's well-crafted verse for a familiar style of storytelling despite the modern medium.

The original illustrations are drenched in color (similar to Bourgonje's earlier app, Fierce Grey Mouse) in two separate versions of this book. Both versions are the same storyline but different artistic renderings of this circular storybook. The animal friends begin in the bath and end in the bath, so readers may not realize the story has started over until several pages into the second time around. This is perfect for young children who love to hear a story over and over!

Very light interactive and animated enhancements will keep youngsters engaged, primarily with popping bubbles (you can also tap and hold to make the bubble shrink). This was very fun, although on the first read it was a bit distracting. There is also a strange lack of interactivity on most of the other pages in between, which was a little confusing for my child. It might be useful to add hints or set up expectations some way in advance for children who are used to books with interactive elements spread more evenly within an ebook.

As a digital offering, developer Tizio has thoughtfully crafted this app with ample settings to adjust volume, nice navigation via a thumbnail page guide and simple arrow page turning. Text and audio are available in Dutch and English (British & N. American accents) with optional highlighting word for word. Overall, this is an exceptional storybook and sure to be well-loved by children up to age eight. The Mud Monster also has nice pacing and themes for pre-readers and is one of those lovely children's books that adults will enjoy sharing (even over and over).

Highly Recommended.

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.


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The Mud Monster

August 27, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

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Chantal Bourgonje

Tizio BV

Length (time):
6 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 8 +

English • Dutch •

Length (pages):
21 Pages


Story Synopsis - The Mud Monster

From iTunes:

After they splashed and played in the bath, our three animal friends go on an adventure and fish up a giant shell. But what surprise awaits them when they finally manage to open the enormous sea shell? 

Find out by reading and playing with this interactive picture book app, which you can view in two different styles of illustration and be read to in three different languages UK English, American/Canadian English or Dutch. Or you can read it yourself of course!


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Start (Version 1 & 2), Credits, Options (highlighting, word enlargement, narration, autoplay, music), More w/ Links to: AppStore, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 186.81 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



The Mud Monster

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