With snow blanketing the country there’s not much else to do but pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa, grab your iPad, and get ready for a wintery adventure featuring two boys, a whale, and a polar bear or two.
Valentine Parguey and Charly Playe’s Scott’s Polar Trip (Square Igloo, 2012; iOS $2.99; Android $2.99; PreS-Gr 2) finds a young boy traveling in the Arctic Circle via submarine. Through his periscope, the youth glimpses an Inuit child staring over the edge of an ice floe into the water below. Inook has discovered a baby whale trapped in a net and Scott offers to help him rescue it. After this successful mission, the two have several other adventures involving polar bears, wolves, and other creatures of the North.
This entertaining app is easy to navigate. A magnifying glass indicates when there are more images to be discovered, such as a photo of an igloo, a whale, snow goggles, etc., each accompanied by informative nonfiction text. Story illustrations by Matt Roussel are colorful, featuring icy blues, unusual perspectives, and slight animations. Four games related to Inuit culture are embedded into the story; viewers can work on an puzzle of an igloo, play blanket toss, search for murre eggs, and build an Inukshuk.
Two age-level options are available: 3-4 or 5-7, which determine the amount and level of nonfiction text that accompanies the photos. Children can choose to read the story on their own or have it read to them, in one of three languages (English, Spanish, and French). A sprinkling of (defined) Inuit words also appears. Ambient sounds, such as the cry of the whale when the boys are trying to rescue it, add a nice layer to the story, but can be switched off if desired. This is one trip that children are sure to enjoy.-Omar Ramiriz, Northlake Public Library District. Northlake, IL
Eds. note: Scott’s Polar Adventure has a trailer.