Who Stole the Moon is a lovely, sleepy tale for iPad, perfect for bedtime about a boy who is worried that the moon has been stolen when he can’t see it out his bedroom’s skylight one evening before bed.
Concerned, he leaves his home to go ask the nocturnal animals if they had stolen the moon to no avail, but is led in the right direction to Owl, who has the correct answer and is able to calm this young boy.
This is a charming story, nicely written in a style reminiscent of traditional folktales that adults will enjoy as much as children will. I also really like how this app offers a little educational material along with this sweet, simple story, explaining about nocturnal animals and about how the moon can hide behind clouds. The illustrations are nicely crafted as well with a good use of color, especially the sapphire blue chosen to represent the sky that looks especially nice against the back-lit iPad.
This book also contains an impressive number of languages to choose from, each including its own language specific narration and text, also allowing for narration or included sounds to be turned off individually as well - always a nice touch.
I have enjoyed meeting each animal introduced within this story, including cute details children enjoy such as a fox playing with her cubs, badgers eating cat food, or a mole shopping for worms to make tea. Each animal also has its own theme song that can be accessed within the story section itself or in a separate dedicated section.
This app includes some fun interactive elements as well as four activities that are included, and although they are pretty typical of extras found among children’s apps, I admire their quality in terms of illustrations used and very nice music included within.
There is a memory game section involving the turning over of tiles in order to create pairs. Nice varieties of this type of game are included, each with its own distinct style of cards that need to be flipped, such as one shape per card, a specific number of shapes per tile creating a nice nod towards subsidizing as well as charming insect drawings, each game including 12 cards to flip over.
Sixteen smaller cards can also be included within a game, here involving animals or fun monster and space themes, allowing children to play memory in a way that is a little more challenging.
The final section includes 36 cards to look under to try to match three cards this time instead of two. This change increases the difficulty level nicely, including the insect motif as well as simple sketches all in the color red, really adding to the amount of detail one must look at in these tiles when flipped over to differentiate each other. Some simple solid color tiles are included as well that contain a lovely marbled water-color look, also seen throughout this app as are perfectly imperfect textures found within this well-done application.
An arcade-style is included where one lights up randomly flying fireflies with a tap. This game is nicely challenging yet avoids over stimulation with the included gentle lullaby-type music. It is a nice touch that the background changes with a selection of earthy green backdrops - great for replay value.
In another area of this app, sixteen puzzles are included, each broken into 25 or 64 pieces which perform like classic jigsaw puzzles, each including a lot of game play. I like the audible click heard when the pieces are fitted together, but I think these lengthy puzzles should make available the reference image seen when choosing a puzzle for children who need a little help because no other hints are offered.
A finger-painting section is available which includes 16 blank sketches than need to be filled in with color. A variety of brush strokes are offered, creating interesting designs with either a tap or a drag of a finger. There is a rainbow of colors to choose from, including four different shades of each color - all really nice choices that combined with the unique brushes, create an effect closer to a painting experience, possibly with an airbrush, than simply scribbling.
Although it is interesting that the paint brush point varies with every tap, it would be nice to select the point size as well as to create details more precise if one so wishes. It would also be nice to have an “undo” button, but the eraser can help fix small mistakes that children feel they may have made coloring in these pictures. I would also like to see a solid line be able to be drawn. As of now, only series of dots is allowed.
A section also exists of the animal songs found within the pages of this story. I like that a separate section exists as these songs, nicely done, are also a little lengthy and takes me out of the story a bit to play them while reading the book. Each song can be listened to or sung with the aid of lyrics that appear sentence-by-sentence in time to the music. This prompt may be enough for older children to sing along but new readers may need more help from an adult as this method is less than true karaoke-style in which each word is highlighted when it is time to be sung.
I do like, however, how each song contains the text that is sung as well as illustrated with simple drawings that correspond to each tune. Parents may need to explain the vintage phonograph used to play these songs, complete with horn, record spinning and the crackling that can be heard when switching between songs - other nice details of this section.
I have enjoyed Who Stole the Moon and recommend this app as a very nice bedtime story choice for toddlers and preschool age children. I look forward to the new apps that WindyPress will develop in the future.