Fat Shadow is an iPad only book app from Italian app developers Scarpetta and Lauria Productions. It is an interactive book app, and also includes some extras: a selection of jigsaw puzzles and pictures showing how to make a variety of hand shadows. It has narration and background music, and both of which can be switched off in settings. The app is enhanced by light animation and interactive elements. There is no word highlighting as it is read. The app contains no adverts, in-app purchases or social media links.
The story is about a boy named Reginald who has 2 favorite pastimes – making “Chinese Shadows” (hand shadows) and eating licorice. Reginald has a great talent for making hand shadows of all kinds- dogs, cats, camels and even elephants and his friends love to watch him. However, his obsession with eating licorice leads him to get quite overweight and turn a little grey, his friends start to tease him, calling him “Fat Shadow”, but Reginald doesn’t really care. One day his shadow is tired of being weighed down, so it snips itself off and runs away. Reginald is very distraught and desperately wants to get his shadow back. A friendly mouse named Mow See tells him about the Land of Lost Shadows, where Lady Dark is planning to eat his shadow for breakfast. Mow See tells him “remember you have to clap your hands, clean up well and get rid of the thing you love the most”. Following Mow See’s advice he gets through the Empire of the Black Beasties, and the Empire of Disappearing Stains, and reaches the Land of Lost Shadows. There he meets Lady Dark – a rather scary, skeletal figure who feasts on shadows, she has all the old hand shadows he used to make and they are thrilled to see him again. Reginald makes a deal with Lady Dark – he brings her licorice every week and she returns his shadow and all his hand shadows. After Reginald stops eating licorice he stops looking grey, gets a nice pink hue looses weight and becomes fit again. Reginald is very happy to have his shadow back and holds on tight to it, and he is much healthier now he isn’t constantly eating candy.
The app has some fun interactive elements – such as a switch to turn on the light to show his hand shadows, scissors to snip off his shadow and rubbing away stains in the Empire of Disappearing Stains. There is a nice level of interactivity- enough to make it fun, but not enough to distract from the story. There are page navigation and home buttons but these are only accessible from the front and back of the book, it would be nice to be able to access them from within the story. The jigsaw section has four different puzzles varying from 6- 24 pieces, this is a nice extra but it would be nice to see the pieces click in place when positioned correctly. I like having the suggested hand shadows included, as it can serve as a nice extension project making them with your children. It is a very original and unique story and the hand drawn illustrations, sound effects and musical score really bring it to life, it also has a moral to the story – eating too much candy (licorice) isn’t good for you! The tale can be a little dark at times so not an ideal bedtime story for young ones, best suited to children aged approximately 5- 9 years. My nine-year-old son really enjoyed it.
Overall, this is an interesting, original story with a moral in the tale. It is nicely enhanced by the narration, original background music, sound effects, light animation and interactivity, I would recommended it for elementary school age children ,and the moral of the tale “don’t eat too much candy ” is a useful message to send to this age group.
At the time of publication the app is on sale at $1.99, which is 50% off the regular price.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).