I have been looking forward to the adaptation of the Dr. Seuss storybook Bartholomew and the Oobleck, a sequel of sorts to another Dr. Seuss tale developed by Oceanhouse Media – The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – an app I have also enjoyed.
Bartholomew and the Oobleck, a Caldecott honor recipient, stars the re-occurring characters Bartholomew Cubbins and King Derwin or Digg in this story of complete power corrupting as well as the need to be careful with what one wishes for as here, the king desires weather to be more interesting than the typical rain, snow or sleet that falls from the sky.
Going against friend and confidant Bartholomew’s better judgment, the king has his wish granted by magicians that also have their concerns, and things take a turn for the worse as the Oobleck falling from the sky is a sticky mess that traps all that it touches, becoming dangerous gunk. Luckily, after being persuaded by Cubbins, the king speaks two magic words, namely, “I’m Sorry” which inexplicably stops the Oobleck.
This is a story written in prose instead of the fanciful rhyming style Dr. Seuss may be best known for. I must admit that I personally prefer these titles that are in-depth short stories without the characteristic rhymes – Seussian elements that I always found got in the way of my enjoyment of his tales, although this may put me in the minority of his fan base.
Also of interest is how this book contains only black, white and shades of gray along with a pop of green used to illustrate the Oobleck – much like the earlier book, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, that uses the same stark palette except with the use of red instead of green as the single color used within.
These illustrations, zoomed and panned to show detail and guide readers’ attention, also include light animated moments of Oobleck falling from the sky as well as the word object picture associations Oceanhouse Media is known for, which can also be turned off if readers choose to do so.
I admire the professional narration that does a good job of keeping the tone of this story light enough as I could imagine the details of the Oobleck sticking to everything to be horror-like if different choices had been made during the reading of this story.
Users are also able to record their own narration if they choose as well as share their own narration with others who also have downloaded this app.
As with other OceanHouse Media apps, Auto Play is available, allowing one to not turn the pages of these books but instead to watch these stories more like a video, allowing one also to simply listen to these tales play as I do, enjoying wonderful stories as I close my eyes and rest.
I am very happy that the Dr. Seuss library of books is being developed into applications. I look forward to reading other Seuss stories I am less familiar with in the future as well.
On another note, children may be interested in creating their own Oobleck by mixing cornstarch, water and food coloring to create a true semi-sold said to resemble the Oobleck from the book.