How I Became a Pirate

. (Oceanhouse Media). illus. by David Shannon. 2014. iOS, requires, 6.1 or later. Version 2.6. $3.99.
PreS-Gr 1—Ahoy, mateys! Did you hear? Melinda Long's picture book illustrated by the inimitable David Shannon is now an app. The story tells of one Jeremy Jacob's adventure with a group of pirates during a family outing to the beach. The scalaways are looking for a spot to bury treasure and someone to do it, and spying Jeremy's sand castle causes them to realize, "He's a digger, he is, and a good one to boot!"A sea chantey plays in the background on opening the app and sound effects such as crashing waves, squawking seagulls, and booming thunder can be heard throughout. Shannon's bold illustrations display well on the iPad and slight animations, including characters that blink, a rowboat that rocks, and falling rain, add to the liveliness.Children can choose to read the story independently or listen to the winning narration that alternates between the gruff tones of Braid Beard the pirate and Jeremy's young voice. One feature provides children with the opportunity to record their own narration. A charming story, enhanced by the iPad's capabilities.—Cathy Potter, Falmouth Elementary School, Falmouth, ME

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