December 12, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Listen Up! (Con Le Orecchie Di Lupo) | Touch and Go

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Looking for something for the youngest appsters? Here’s one from SmallBytes Digital.


Some apps delight users from the moment they begin—through to the very last click. Listen Up! / Con Le Orecchie Di Lupo (SmallBytes Digital, iOS, $1.99; PreS), written and illustrated by Eva Rasano, is one of those productions.

Meet Lupo, an unassuming, suave black wolf (think: dog) who walks around on his hind legs exploring new sounds. He begins a spring day in a colorful field filled with paper-cut flowers, each of which produces a buzzing bee when touched. The screen fills with these insects and the buzzing grows louder until viewers are ready to move on, which happens with a tap to an arrow. It is that simple, and this is where the joy lies.

Screen from “Listen Up!” (SmallBytes Digital)  © illus by Eva Rasano

Lupo then walks a path with birds, and if users touch one, the creature will dodge it to avoid a direct hit. The background melody is so cheery that only the most harried adult would begrudge the loop. The tune drops away during the interactions with the tap-dancing wolves and the garbage-can orchestra, but listeners will find themselves yearning to hear it again after learning “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on digital water glasses.

A narrator introduces the story and reads the minimal text as it appears on the screen (in either English or Italian). There are crunching leaves, honking cars, the sound of raindrops, meowing cats, and more, as Lupo travels through his entire day. It’s a day with filled with urban and country adventures, set in bold, bright paper cuttings. VERDICT Share this a charming concept app with the young children you work and live with; they’ll soon be humming along.—Pamela Schembri, Horace Greeley High School, Newburgh, NY

For additional app reviews, visit School Library Journal‘s dedicated app webpage.



Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.

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