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Review of ‘Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose’ for iOS

While not all books make the transition to an app as successfully as others, in the digital format a story or text can reach a whole new audience. As a book, Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose is an amusing guessing game for youngsters; as an app, it would be a great tool to use with ESL learners.

Screen shot from 'Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose' (Burton) Auracle/Auryn, Inc.

Title: Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose
Author: Marilee Robin Burton
Illustrated by: Marilee Robin Burton
Developed by: Auracle/Auryn, Inc.
Platform: iOS, requires 4.3 or later
Version: 1.0.1
Price: $1.99

PreS-In 1989 Marilee Robin Burton published an innovative picture book (Harper & Row), which School Library Journal‘s reviewer called, “A delightful and imaginative visual riddle of identifying each of the animals by their body parts shown.” Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose has now made the transition to the ebook format, retaining the bold illustrations of the original in each of the three available viewing modes.

In “Auto play,” the book is simply read to children and each body part is featured through the use of text and narration. The addition of a sound effect as each page is finished (and the entire creature is displayed) is a humorous touch. For example, on the page featuring a rabbit, nibbling sounds are heard followed by a high-pitched exclamation of “Carrots!”

The “Read to Me” mode follows the same format except that users must swipe the screen in order to advance to the next page. The third option is “Read myself.” This mode encourages more interaction; touching one of the creature’s five visible features elicits a text and spoken-word label. This minimal interaction will entertain some children as they become more familiar with the names of common animals and their parts. Unfortunately, the book’s playful approach doesn’t quite translate to the app format. Perhaps future enhancements will enrich this application, but for now the print picture book is the preferred version.—Mary R. Voors, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN