I’ve long been a fan of David A. Carter’s pop-up books like One Red Dot, ever since my sister, an ardent pop-up lover, introduced me to them years ago. So when I heard that he had helped develop a new app for the iPad, I could only hope it’d be more toddler-friendly than those delicate 3D paper creations that I was forever trying to protect from curious hands.

Spot the Dot for the iPad is definitely made for little hands to poke and prod, without worrying about rips or crumpled paper.

But first: This is not a pop-up app. Do not buy this app for yourself thinking it will be another marvel of pop-up art. You will not be asked to don 3D glasses or see things shooting up at you as you play. The game itself is completely 2D, and it does feel like a departure from Mr. Carter’s print fare. But if you are looking for a fun little app for younger kids, probably kindergarten and under, I think this will hold their attention for a while, and it is a great way for them to practice their color-recognition skills.

Each “round” of the game asks the child to “spot the (insert color here) dot”. At first, this is pretty easy, but as the rounds continue, spotting the dot takes a bit more patience and concentration. The graphics are super crisp and the colors really pop on the iPad. And I love that each time you play, the dot moves position, so if you find the red dot in the upper right corner the first time, it will be somewhere else the next time you play.

Though my older grade-school kids and I had fun seeing how fast we could spot the dot, the narrator speaks so carefully and slowly, it’s pretty obvious he imagined speaking to a three-year-old when he recorded the audio. I had to remind myself of this when I felt like saying, “ok, I get it, let’s move on“. -Christina

Spot the Dot by Ruckus Media Group is available for the iPad

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