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Review: ‘Elmer and Rose’ for iOS and Android

This is the second of David McKee’s books about Elmer the Elephant to become an app. Like ‘Elmer’s Special Day,‘ word identification and pronunciation are the focus of the interactive features.

Title: Elmer and Rose
Author & Illustrator: David McKee
Narrated by: Davinia Palmer
Developed by:
Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
Series: Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
Platform: iOS, requires 3.0 or later; Android, 2.1 and up
Version: 1.08
Price: $2.99

PreS-K-In his series of books about the colorful elephant, McKee subtly tackles the subject of diversity, and Elmer and Rose (Andersen, 2010) is no exception. Rose, a pink pachyderm, must find her way back to her herd. Grandpa Eldo selects Elmer and his cousin Wilbur to help the lost creature. Rose is eventually reunited with her group, and Elmer sums up their adventure by stating, “They’re probably all nice, unique or not.”

Children have the option of reading the story on their own, having it read to them, or selecting the “Auto Play” function. In “Auto Play” users must hit the home button to quit, which means exiting the app. Viewers can then choose to continue where they left off, or return to the main menu.

The pacing of the “Read to Me” function is steady, and Palmer’s narration is pleasing. Children can tap on words to hear them repeated, or click on different illustrations to hear and see the words for the objects they touch. Page turning (by swiping) is fluid.

McKee’s illustrations look vivid on the iPad screen, and having the text broken up by zooming in on the illustrations is a nice touch. The background sounds can be turned on or off, and when on, they are unobtrusive. A good choice for the preschool and kindergarten set.—Erin Sehorn, Kalona Public Library, Kalona, IA