This app takes advantage of the iPad’s capabilities, incorporating sound, motion, and interactivity, while letting the story remain the focus. As our reviewer Cathy Potter points out, Jansson’s die-cut illustrations translate well to the digital format, and add to the story’s appeal.
Title: The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My
Author: Tove Jansson
Illustrator: Tove Jansson
English Translation by: Sophie Hannah
Narration by: Samuel West
Developed by: Spinfy, WSOY, and Sort of Books
Platform: iOS, requires 5.0 or later
K- Gr3-Moomin, the beloved character from the Finnish children’s series, is featured in a story first published in 1952. In the tale, Moomintroll (an endearing, hippo-like creature), is on his way home with milk for Moominmamma when he encounters Mymble. Mymble is distraught because her sister has run away. Moomintroll agrees to help his friend look for Little My, and soon the two find themselves on an perilous journey narrowly escaping a rock avalanche, a powerful vacuum cleaner, and the electric Hattifatteners.
Readers may choose between the “Read It Myself” or “Read to Me” mode. Navigation is intuitive; swipe the screen to turn the page. Tapping the letter “T” reveals a text box for readers who want to follow along. The rhyming text and narration (by British actor West), are particularly pleasing. Sound effects such as chirping birds, creaking trees, and the howling wind enhance the telling. Janssonʼs bold red, blue, and purple, die-cut illustrations translate well to the digital version.
Interactive elements are subtle and fit nicely with the whimsical story. Users may tap the screen to set the animation into motion: fish jump, rocks tumble, and birds fly. Tilting the iPad causes objects such a hot air balloon and an umbrella to move across the screen, and a lantern to swing. Children will also enjoy looking for Little My who is hiding on each page.
The superb narration and delightful interactive features enrich this story making it one that children will want to visit again and again.-Cathy Potter, Falmouth Elementary School, Falmouth, ME