Saturday, April 1, 2017

Goodnight Campsite by Loretta Sponsler, Olga Shevchenko

Rating: WARTY!

This little book crashed my Kindle app on my smartphone - twice! The Kindle app always was crappy, but this is a precedent. I don't know what happened. When I first read it, it was fine. It was when I was trying to leaf through it for this review that I ran into trouble. The book opened at the end, which was where I'd left it, but I couldn't summon the slide bar at the bottom of the screen to go back to the start, nor would the pages swipe. The Kindle eventually popped up a message saying the app had crashed (but not in those words! LOL!).

I removed it from the device and re-downloaded it, and instead of tapping the screen to get the slide bar, I swiped back through the pages, and it worked fine the third time. Just FYI. I know it's unlikely your kid is going to be reading from the phone, but it could happen! It seems to be connected with the slide bar. If you don't use that for navigation, you should be fine.

I also tested it on an iPad and it seemed fine there, even though I was using the same Kindle app. The book looked very different on the tablet though. How Amazon explains that, other than they they have a shoddy and inconsistent app, I don't know, but based on this experience I'm not rating this as a worthy read, because it took several attempts and forever to get it to download to the pad in the first place! I recommend assuming you insist upon reading this, the print version even though it means killing a tree or two.

The title is slightly misleading - it's not one of your usual "Goodnight..." books, and I was glad of this. Instead it begins with a map of the campsite, and then lets you follow various campers, with poetic descriptions of their activities from Loretta Sponsler, - from biking to hiking, from picnics to quick dips, from fishing to swishing golf clubs, and so on. It's very colorful and nicely drawn by Olga Shevchenko (what a pair of delicious names to pay with there, huh?).

There are "bingo" sheets at the end which you can print out and have your kids check-off items as they encounter various things reading through the book. There's also a very nosy squirrel to see if you can find in each picture. So while I thought the book was ok, the poor experience I had with the e-version makes me dis-recommend it.