Four Little Corners

Four Little Corners is the winner of the 2013 Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award (Fiction). Available in English, Spanish, French and German, it is based on the book by Jérôme Ruillier and adapted by DADA Company.  Little Square is friends with all the Little Circles and they play together outside…

Four little corners photo 1   but he can’t go into their house and feels left out… photo 2Egged on by his friends, he tries hard to become a circle…  photo 3But despite his best efforts, nothing works. Finally the circles all come together to find a solution, deciding that it isn’t Little Square who needs to change – it’s the door.

When I tested this app on my own, I thought it had a great message and a really fresh and clean look. The story is well paced, with a real problem solved through creativity, a small amount of mild peril (as they say in all good children’s films) and everything wrapped up in a happy ending. There is just the right amount of text on each page, supported by interactivity which advances the story such as trying to get Little Square through the door, or helping him try to turn into a circle.  For me, a key strength of the app is that putting together great animation, music and narration gives the simple shapes a surprising amount of personality!photo 4

My first impressions were backed up when I shared it with my children. Little Miss Chatterbox, aged 3, was engrossed in the story from the beginning and found it very easy to navigate. She really enjoyed playing with the coloured circles and squares. As she used the app it drew the attention of Mr Tall, aged 5, on the other side of the room. He closed his Nintendo DS and came to share the story, asking her to start again. An app which pulls him away from his Harry Potter DS game is a strong app indeed!

Their verdicts?

“They cut it into a square! Now they can all go through all together. I want to do it AGAIN.” - Little Miss Chatterbox

“It’s lovely because Square is much happier.” - Mr Tall

With several repeat readings since last week, I think this will settle comfortably into our library of book apps. I agree with the verdict of the Bologna Ragazzi 2013 jury – “This book-inspired app demonstrates that the translation from print to digital needn’t be sophisticated, as long as a good story is involved.”

Four Little Corners is developed by Dada Company and compatible with iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. Available from  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/four-little-corners/id598573155?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 priced at £1.99/$2.99 at time of writing.

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