The only thing better than keeping our readers abreast of the latest Kickstarter projects is when, as with Polk Street Press’ newest kids’ digibook, Spatter & Spark, we get to enjoy the finished product. Spatter & Spark are an artistic porcupine and an invention-loving fox, whose curiosity and friendship will delight four to six-year-old readers.
Spatter & Spark work together to solve the porcupine’s problem: he wants to paint the portrait of Hubert the baby crow, but he can’t reach the crow’s nest, and the diminutive bird is afraid to fly down to model for him. As the story unfolds, it’s Spark to the rescue as the clever fox dreams up a way to get Spatter up to mama crow’s nest.
This universal app tells an original tale, but has the benefit of experience. Accomplished children’s book author Deborah Underwood wrote the story, and the talented Luciana Navarro Powell did the illustrations. Unlike many storybook apps of its kind, Spatter & Spark could have stood up in print, though its all the richer as a digital book.
Spatter & Spark’s interactive features fit well within the story structure. Many of the elements, such as Spark’s Rube Goldbergian doorbell move the story forward. Spatter can’t get in to see Spark unless he figures out how to ring the bell, and the reader gets to help him. Each page offers a carefully assembled collage of bits and pieces that will amuse children and impress parents. For example, Spark’s pogo shovels comprise a garden spade, spring, t-bar, and tennis balls.
The app’s professional and varied narration, along with playful sound affects enhance the reader’s experience. Older readers can also choose to turn off the narration from the home page.
Download Spatter & Spark from the App Store for free. Want more? Pick up the activity pack for $3.99, or buy the individual activities à la carte for $1.99.
What I liked: Spatter & Spark strikes the right balance between interactive bells and whistles and a good, old-fashioned story. While purchasing the interactive games is a nice feature, it’s not necessary to buy them to enjoy the story.
What I didn’t like: I couldn’t figure out how to jump between the activities screen and the splash screen at first. Hint: you can swipe between the two screens.
To buy or not to buy: Spatter & Spark proves that, no matter how crowded the field, there’s always room for another well-conceived, thoughtfully executed children’s storybook app.
- App Name: Spatter & Spark
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Polk Street Press
- Price: Free, optional in-app purchase