David A. Carter. The name conjures wildly imaginative paper engineering featuring primary colors. His not-for-kids-only, nearly abstract One Red Dot (2005), Blue 2 (2006), and 600 Black Spots (2007, all S & S) are extraordinarily playful, inventive books that send readers on seek-and-find missions. While Spot the Dot is not a picture-book app, how could we ignore an offering from this creative genius?
A video of Carter talking about his first app provides insight into how Spot was created and a peek at what this app looks like and does. A free, “lite” version of the app is also available from Ruckus Mobile Media.
PreS-Gr 1-Carter, known for his engaging pop-up books, has created a lively, interactive production. It consists of 10 activities, each a search for a dot of a different color, and each, progressively more challenging.
Children can play the games in the order they are presented, or they can select their favorite color or activity from the circles positioned at the top of the screen. Each exercise is introduced and explained in a clear and inviting tone; a help button provides additional (written) support and a “teaching tip.”
Success is rewarded with verbal praise and a chime, a tinkle, or a few notes of music. Some of the dots are hidden among other shapes and colors, others move in from off-page; one activity illuminates the screen in flashlight fashion, revealing a section of the tablet at a time, and in another, shapes magically appear against a black background when the screen is touched.
The app’s bold palette and intuitive play will appeal to youngsters who are learning colors and shapes while the hide-and-seek puzzles are intriguing enough to engage older children. Each time the sequence of games is completed and the app reactivated, the dots are in new locations, offering new challenges, and keeping children coming back for more.–MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools, Binghamton, NY