The Shape of Me and Other Stuff - Dr Seuss is a lovely adaptation of the title by of the same name - part of a series of Dr. Seuss books developed by Oceanhouse Media.
For those who may not know, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff is a Bright and Early Dr Seuss book, containing the rhyming cadence Seuss is known for without the wondrous nonsensical tongue twisters that can make his work cumbersome to read or follow by the youngest children. I have always been a fan of these simple-to-read books as they were some of the first stories we read to our son when he was born, and I am sure they will be the first books my son reads to himself as well.
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff teaches children about the concept of shapes beyond the traditional geometric shapes that one is commonly taught, instead being a message about imagination as well as an easy-to-read or listen-to story that rolls off the tongue very nicely.
The plot is simple and is not fully narrative as a boy and a girl explore the shapes of the objects in the world around them.
I appreciate how Dr. Seuss’s wonderful style of illustrations can be found within, as all the items included, even the boy and girl characters are wonderfully silhouetted in black, with the objects, creatures or characters sometimes also silhouetted in bold color choices or even in white when displayed on a colored page that is found among the pages of this book. I enjoy the look of these silhouettes, showing off the line detail of these illustrations - something that is not always focused upon when looking at the pictures in another Dr. Seuss book with the traditional brightly colored drawings.
Narration is included, here with two different voices in use, presumably those of the boy and girl characters from the story. I really enjoy the girl’s narration found towards the second half of this story, as she speaks clearly and with enthusiasm. The same can be said for the boy’s narration, but I think this voice in general too saccharine for my taste and not as enjoyable to listen to as other narrators who are used among the Dr. Seuss series of applications. It is worth noting that my son does not have this issue, and as these apps are primarily for children, this is a minor point.
I have been uniformly pleased with how the Dr. Seuss books have been translated into applications, keeping the style and spirit alive from the original published books, now including a chance to look at close-ups of these illustrations with the use of the “Ken Burns Effect” of panning and zooming of these pages draws the eye to areas of the page for a nice effect.
Subtle background music and ambient sounds are also incorporated that bring something new to this story not available when reading a traditional book - nice elements that add to the experience without distraction. Interactive hotspots are included as well, as readers can tap any detail to see the item labeled with text as well as spoken, yet never talking above the included narration - a nice touch.
Individual words can also be tapped to heard, aiding children in reading this book in case they become stuck and need help - a lovely inclusion that makes Oceanhouse Media apps in general wonderful resources for young readers.
Like the other Dr. Seuss apps developed by Oceanhouse Media, as well as their applications in general, one also has the chance to read this book to oneself. Autoplay is also included, turning the pages of this book automatically when listening to the narration.
I have been a huge fan of OceanHouse Media’s Dr. Seuss apps from their very first release of The Cat in the Hat, and I always get excited when a new Dr. Seuss app becomes available. I especially love that the easy-to-read Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners have been turned into storybook applications as well. I hope to see more of these titles developed including those written by other writers such Stan and Jan Berenstain as well.