Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A review of "Miss Rosie Red - Let Me See...What Will I Be?" app written and illustrated by Trisha Deery and produced by Dog Ears

Hi People in the Ether,

   Miss Rosie Red is a charming character whose first picture book adventure "Let Me See...What Will I Be?" makes a fun and friendly app.

   It's a simple, warm, sweet story - Rosie's been invited to her friend's birthday party and decides she needs to dress up as something impressive. The scouring of dress-up boxes and wardrobes is doomed as there's an imagined problem with each costume - astronaut, fairy and dinosaur. After many other changes, at last, our cheery heroine realises the best course of action. She'll be herself. And when she arrives at the picnic she discovers her friends are being themselves, too.

   Throughout, Rosie talks to Cooper the cat in a very believable manner. The sense of her wondering, daydreaming, play acting is really innocent and lovely. And there's a great range of words in the narration. The repetition of "Let me see...what will I be?" and "Oh, no, that would never do" ensure this will be an engaging storytime read.  

   Deery's artwork is scrumptious, soft, in a warm colour palette. There are few backgrounds other than colour washes until the climax. Rosie is gorgeous, her russet hair, lovely freckles, stripey tights, infectious smile, and emphatic frown are all adorably drawn. Rosie's little brother, Baby, is chubby and cute. Cooper is forever prowling and jumping. And I especially loved Rosie's Mum's red stilettos, they tell us something of her character though we never see her face. All Rosie's friends, Darcy, Gracie, Penny are distinct individuals.

   The interactivity of the app is really well pitched. There are three reading options; read to me, read myself, autoplay. And the speed of the latter option run is perfect. There's also just the right amount of screens that involve extra touch changes to the scenes and they're really effective. There are lovely sound effects throughout and cheerful uptempo guitar playing occasionally in the background that's far intrusive. And Rosie's song is adorable. 

    I think the voice talents on this app are the cherries on a lovely cake. Rosie is voiced by a three-year old and this lends an authenticity that's full of excitement and wonder. Mum's voice is loving and very engaged with Rosie, while the narrator is always cosy and interested in the events onscreen. I'll admit I'm predisposed to love these particular accents from my neck of the woods, but I also think it's really refreshing to hear more regional, and non-celebrity, voices in apps. Miss Rosie Red is a wonderful character for pre-schoolers - she's set to star in more books and apps, and there's even a television series in the works.

   Thanks for reading,


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