Labo's Pebble Art

Labo Lado. 2016. iOS, requires 6.0 or later, Version 1.2.0. $1.99; Android, requires 2.3.3 and Up. Version 1.0.8. $2.06.
PreS-Gr 1—After selecting one of the 22 pictures hanging on the clothesline that greets children on opening this app, viewers are brought to a screen where that same picture has been deconstructed. Their job is to reassemble the image, puzzle fashion; a gray outline is provided. The shapes are large and few, so the task is not particularly difficult, but it will call in young children's visual discrimination and fine-motor skills.Once the image is complete, a palette of bright colors becomes available. Children can color the image by finger if they desire; a tap to a check mark icon indicates the painting is complete.Behind each finished painting is a related animated scene or game that incorporates the picture the appster has just completed. A blackbird walks along a grassy landscape seeking worms (some more dangerous than others), a caterpillar becomes a xylophone capable of creating a tune, and a screen floods with colorful beetles of different colors, sizes, and body types. When a beetle is matched with its pair, points discreetly tally in a corner of the screen. While most kids won't even notice the points accumulating, the games are timed, offering another challenge. At the end of each game, confetti drops and a final score is noted. The app contains no narration, but background music accompanies the activities, and some of the games incorporate their own songs or tunes. Simple, clean images, smooth functionality, and a variety of charming animations and delightfully inventive activities are highlights of this production, which is available in six languages.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal

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