'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 18 July 2012

ebook Review: Shoe Zoo (Tales by Torchlight)

Evangelina draws pictures and creates storybooks to help her remember the sights, smells and sounds of her special adventures and other important things. At night, she shares these stories with her toys by torchlight.

Shoe Zoo is the story of the day Evangelina’s trip to the zoo was cancelled because of bad weather. Stuck inside the house, she is inspired by the shoes piled on the shoe rack to pretend to be all the animals that she had hoped to see at the zoo.

I love the simplicity of this story and the way it encourages children to use their imaginations. Evangelina’s make believe play and her collection of drawings (superimposed over sketches of Evangelina posing as the various animals) should inspire young readers to create special memory books filled with drawings and stories of their own adventures or to simply dress-up as their favourite animal.

The interactive elements are minimal. Read through Apple’s iBooks app, there is no soundtrack or read aloud feature although it is easy to use the iBooks menus to easily bookmark or navigate to specific pages or to highlight text. Pictures with an interactive element are noted by a coloured thumbprint. Touching the picture generally adds an additional detail to the illustration, which can also be activated by simply swiping to the next page.

A simple story of imagination and make-believe play, Shoe Zoo is the first in a series of Tales by Torchlight ebooks by professional painter, author, teacher and mother of three Rebecca Jelbert. It is a lovely story for preschoolers and young children, one that hopefully will fill their minds with creative plans for their own stories to read by torchlight.

Tales by Torchlight: Shoe Zoo is published by Jellywalk and is available on iTunes.