Dr. Seuss’s The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories is another nice storybook app from Oceanhouse Media. I looked at the Apple version for the iPad and iPhone. The seven stories were originally published by Seuss in Redbook Magazine in the 1950s.
Each story can be selected from the app’s main menu by tapping an illustration.
In “The Bippolo Seed,” a mischievous cat (possibly the precursor to a certain hat-wearling feline?) tries to persuade a silly duck how best to use a magic Bippolo seed — and they both learn a lesson in greed
In “The Strange Shirt Spot,” a spot of dirt becomes very attached to a boy, his cat, and everything else it touches
The in “Steak for Supper,” boy walks home for supper down Mulberry Street — and attracts some hungry creatures along the way, including an Ikka, Gritch, Grickle, and many more
With “Tadd and Todd,” the identical twins are like “peas in a pod,” but can Tadd find a way to make himself stand out?
Then there’s “The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga;” a little rabbit must think quickly to save himself from a hungry bear.
In “Gustav the Goldfish,” a boy learns the hard way that a goldfish truly only needs a pinch of food (the inspiration for Helen Palmer Geisel’s A Fish Out of Water).
And finally in “The Great Henry McBride,” Henry daydreams about all the wonderful things he will do when he grows up
The playful nature of Dr. Seuss’s wonderful rhymes and colorful illustrations come through in this delightful app and children and their parents will enjoy flipping through these fun, short stories.
The interface is easy to grasp — both little and adult hands can swipe the screen to turn the “page,” tap the screen for highlighted words, or hold a finger over a paragraph to have the narrator read it out loud again. Each story also helps nudge the process along, suggesting “tap” or swipe.”
In the “Read to Me” feature a narrator recites the story, each word highlighted. Illustrations are labeled, with words like “I,” “Twin,” and “Books,” as well as Seuss’s creative character names such as “McKluck” and “Nupper.”
If children choose to read the story on their own in the “Read it Myself” feature, they can tap each word at their own pace, with the graphics zooming in. Flipping pages in a side-swipe motion and tapping pictures for highlighted words are also available.
In the “Auto Play” feature the narrator reads the story and the pages flip automatically, but readers can still tap the pictures to see highlighted words.
Oceanhouse Media is really making Dr. Seuss come to life, while still respecting his original books and illustrations.
I had fun discovering these “new” Seuss stories with my seven-year-old daughter. She liked listening to the narrator read to her, but especially enjoyed reading them on her own.
I’m sure we will be revisiting Gustav the Goldfish, the strange shirt spot, and the clever rabbit and not-so-clever bear again in the near future.