McElligot’s Pool is an early Dr. Seuss tale about the vivid imagination of a boy who fantasizes about the fish he may find in a polluted body of water said to be too dirty to support fishing.
Published in 1947, the style found in this book is a little different from the expected pen and ink used in other stories, instead using what to me looks like colored pencils or possibly water colors creating a softer look that I find interesting compared to the sharp lines I am used to in these storybooks.
The zooming and panning of these illustrations are included, typical of the adapted apps developed by Oceanhouse Media to draw the eye to different sections of the pages for visual interest, yet the softness of these images leads to what can momentarily look like resolution issues, as these pictures lack a crisp edge that leads to easy enlarging. Luckily, these moments go back fast and will not register for most children.
I do like a great deal, however, how the black and white illustrations also found in the book look on the backlit screen of the iPad and iPhone.
John Bell, my favorite narrator, is back - much to my delight. I love his narrations, always bringing life to the books he is a part of, especially here bringing so much wonderment as the boy in this story first describes how this pool could possibly be connected to a larger body of water, a possible source in which fish could live. The cadence is perfect as a boy with a vivid imagination speaking on his feet, stretching a story farther and farther the way my son, who also has a vast imagination, might.
This story contains parts with a fair amount of repetition and lacks the Dr. Seussian whimsical words which can actually make Dr. Seuss books hard to read for some, making this story a great early read for the intermediate reader who is up for a lengthy yet simple to read story. It is also quite helpful that if one chooses to silence the narration, words can still be heard with a tap, always nice for children who may feel stuck on certain words.
Also available is the chance to turn off the fun ambient sound effects which I personally always enjoy a great deal as well as the ability to tap objects in the pages to hear and see these words displayed.
New to these apps is the ability to share personal narrations between those who each own this application.
McElligot’s Pool is a Seuss story which may be less known than some of his other titles but is worth checking out. I look forward to see what other Seuss titles are to be adapted into applications in the future as well.