The old adage is true; you can't judge a book by its cover, and apparently you also can't judge an app by its name. I thought 2 Tigers was another 'live camera in the zoo habitat' thing. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it's actually a tale of sibling rivalry.
Author and illustrator Dorothy Thurgood Manning of 22 Loretta Kids' Books has perfectly captured the confident sure-footed older sibling as seen through the eyes of the just-making-her-own-way younger sibling. Although little Delilah and Sophie are tigers, they walk on two feet and engage in many of the same pursuits as human children. Delilah is a bit envious that Sophie gets to ride the school bus alone while she's still in a car seat, and she still needs training wheels while her sister rides a two-wheeler.
The app features either "read to me" narration in English or Spanish with word by word highlighting, or "read myself" setting. Each page has a small animation, sound effect or interactive element, which are indicated with glowing or arrows. My favorite is the mountain of toilet paper rolls which appear on the page where Delilah is outside the bathroom obviously holding herself just like a girl or boy about to have an accident would. All of the illustrations are hand drawn and have a child's simplicity.
Despite being fairly short with only a sentence or two on each of the 17 pages, Manning covers a lot of ground in depicting the complex relationship of siblings. Whether cast as a role model, protector or tattle teller, the author really nails the ever-changing relationship between the sisters. Many of the scenarios seen in the book have been played out in my house and should be familiar to most parents. Although the tigers live in a house and go to school, they haven't lost all their feline fierceness. They still growl when angry and thump their tails, just as a child would stamp a foot when angry or frustrated.
I like that Delilah does have one thing she is really good at which is tumbling. It's important for siblings to have their own identities and especially for a younger sibling to have a chance to get out of her older sibling's shadow. 2Tigers handles these issues well in a manner relatable to younger children.
The book does end rather abruptly which I found curious. Little kids certainly would expect a The End or more definitive conclusion than the "She loves me. She's my sister" last page. I also think the transition between pages needs some work. Each time a page is turned, the screen goes black, and there is a delay while the next page loads. This lag makes it impossible to quickly flip between pages or revisit a favorite.
2 Tigers is the second app from 22Loretta Books. I hope to see more as the author deftly handled a challenging subject. There is nothing worse than when girls get their claws out.
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Jill Goodman is den mother to twin boys she calls 2 puppies. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.