Renowned Storyteller Zooms Into iTunes
David Wiesner, a three-time Caldecott Medalist and author of the popular books Tuesday, Flotsam, and Mr. Wuffles, brings his wordless storytelling talents to the iPad with the release of David Wiesner's Spot. Spot uses the iPad's zoom feature of spreading and pinching two fingers as a mechanism for transporting readers into five unique worlds. In one, cats rule, so you see them enjoying a feline-filled parade. In another, the dust bunnies under an armchair come to life. Kids can also catapult into outer space to meet aliens, dive into the depth of the ocean, and discover a world populated by robots.
In Spot, David Wiesner takes his visual storytelling to a whole new level. By using the zoom mechanism, accompanied by visuals that get bigger and bigger until they change into something unexpected, Wiesner transports the reader into new worlds. As kids use their two fingers to zoom, they hear an appropriate swooshing sound, which helps to make it seem as if they are traveling.
In one scene, as you zoom in on a pencil, it turns into a snow scene with ladybugs all bundled up. The next zoom focuses in on a snowflake. Another zoom and an electrical grid of dots shows up. Get closer, and the dots turn into round roofs of a robot colony.
With no words, just fascinating worlds to explore, kids become the narrator of the stories they want to tell. And Wiesner helps by adding incongruous things to scenes, such as seeing an alien swimming in the ocean world. Or finding a cat walking a dog.
Parents and teachers can download separate guides, filled with suggested questions for parents and school projects for teachers. The guides can be found in iTunes as a separate app or they can be downloaded online here
In the way that Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who
changed how generations of kids thought about a speck of dust, likewise Wiesner's Spot
challenges this generation of children to think about worlds they can't see, be they real or imaginary.
David Wiesner's Spot is a fascinating app for children to explore, because of its unique visuals and the manner of navigation (the zooming is fun and exciting!). It works best with kids who like to make up their own stories, since this is a wordless storybook. The quirky characters and detailed scenes provide fodder for kids' imaginations. However, this isn't a good choice for a child who wants to listen to a story, since there is no narration.
This David Wiesner's Spot app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.