Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day

I just found out that one of our favourite apps got a great new update.

Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day by Ginger Whale has had repeated readings over the past year in our house but I hesitated to review it on the blog because there was no narration, which has become the norm in story apps. Now there is a Read to Me option, bringing it right up to date. And for only 69p, it really is a must-have.

One day, Sleepy Mole is having a lovely nap underground with his teddy when he is disturbed by workmen and has to find a place to sleep. As he digs and digs, he finds lots of other creatures in their homes. Unfortunately,  there is no room for him to sleep there, it is too noisy, or in some cases they are even quite keen to eat him! Your job is to help Sleepy Mole and Teddy find somewhere lovely and quiet to make a new bed.

The only animation in this app is of Sleepy Mole digging; but the big selling point is that you choose in which direction he will go. This means that each time you read the story, you visit different animals. There are sixteen creatures altogether, and the app includes a handy Creature Guide so you can work out which ones you haven’t seen yet. You will find yourself dropping in on some creatures more often than others, depending which paths you take. The app is basically a very simple Choose Your Own Adventure book, in which fortunately there is always a happy ending!

I would love to see more apps developed with this sort of structure, as it makes such good use of the non-linear format of the iPad. I haven’t yet delved into apps for older children, so perhaps there are more available for older age groups. Can anyone recommend any other apps in which you can direct the story in this way?

Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day, developed by Ginger Whale. Compatible with iPhone and iPad. Available from priced at 69p/$0.99 at time of writing.