Our last review featured Boom Bah! by Phil Cummings. Here’s another app from Kane Miller Books, a newcomer to digital storytelling.
Title: A Garden for Pig
Author: Kathryn K. Thurman
Illustrator: Lindsay Ward
Publisher: Kane Miller
Developed by: Demibooks Studio
Platform: iOS, requires 4.2 or later
Price: $3.99; purchase through iTunes, or Demibooks® Storytime
PreS-Gr 1-Pig lives on an apple farm run by Mrs. Pippins. The woman prepares many wonderful variations of the fruit for the creature, but it’s apples day after day. A series of attempts by Pig to enter his owner’s vegetable patch get him into mischief, though ultimately enable the persistent swine to do a bit of his own gardening—and expand his diet.
This app is based on the original print title (Kane Miller, 2010), which was inspired by the author’s pig. On the screen Ward’s mixed media collage artwork retains all of its charm. Recipes peak through the light coat of paint and Pig’s expressions convey all of the emotions of a frustrated animal. Thurman’s text is full of words (“squish,” “crash,” and “tiptoe”) that lend themselves to an expressive narration. That, plus the background music, perfectly complement the country setting and humorous storyline.
This app extends the story experience for youngsters, offering several reading options. Well-developed interactive features invite children to discover hidden movements, informative sidebars, and sounds by touching, tapping, and tipping the screen. However, the pop-up recipes and nonfiction inserts on various topics (composting, etc.) are not narrated and require higher reading and comprehension skills, thus adult assistance. For some children this won’t be an issue, but access to the information in these features may frustrate or confuse independent pre- and emergent readers.—Elisabeth LeBris, Sears School LTC, Kenilworth, IL