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App of the Week – The Tooth That’s On The Loose!

By Matthew McDonnell

The loss of one’s first tooth is often a cause for concern. It can be disquieting and cause some children significant anxiety. Even after the fear of the first lost tooth subsides, the event remains an object of fascination.

Fortunately, the developers at KiteReaders have produced an outstanding book app to make this time in your child’s life a bit more fun and exciting – and a whole lot less uncomfortable.

The Tooth That’s On The Loose! is a wonderful book app that calls upon the reader to help Sheriff Tex, a bigger than life but quite friendly man, catch T.B. Wiggly. T.B., short for “Tooth Be” is in Sheriff Tex’s own words, “darn near the wiggliest, shiftiest, and squirliest little varmint this side of the Mississippi.”

The trouble with a shifty varmint is that such types are inevitably hiding and the search for T.B. Wiggly provides the plot structure for this excellent book app. As the book takes you on a search of all the possible places T.B. could be hiding out, the reader is treated to a healthy dose of endearing western dialogue that would work just as well in a spaghetti western.

Then about halfway through the app, it’s revealed why we need to capture T.B. – he’s going to leave a hole in you big enough to steer cattle through! This might sound like a cause for alarm, but the second half of the app is where the real magic happens.

The western theme is important because the rest of the app is devoted to encouraging the reader to be stoic in the face of a significant challenge even if he or she is scared. But this encouragement is quiet and reassuring; refreshingly devoid of the overly macho bombast one might expect from a western.

The most important aspect of the western theme however, is that the capture of T.B. carries a big reward.

How do you collect the reward? Well first you’ve got to capture the rascal. Then, once he’s wrangled good and proper, you’ve got to turn him over to the authorities – Ma and Pa. They’ll know what to do with the prisoner (put him under your pillow) and how to collect the reward (something about a tooth fairy legend).

The Tooth That’s On The Loose! is beautifully illustrated, has a simple menu, and is easy to navigate. But these features are only prerequisites for a great book app.

First, the fact that this book requires interaction between parent and child is fantastic.  When your child has her first wiggly tooth you want to know. By reading this book app with your child early and often, she will know what to expect and you’ll have an opportunity to answer questions.

Second, it encourages your child to be brave in the face of a significant life change. Everyone could use a little encouragement now and then. Whether it’s your first loose tooth, your last, or somewhere in between, this book app has the potential to become a family favorite for the long haul.

The Tooth That’s On The Loose! is recommended for Kids (Ages 5 and up). Find screenshots, reviews and family-friendly ratings for Cargo-Bot and more of the best iPad apps and best Android apps at Famigo.com.

Developer: KiteReaders

Compatibility: Android 2.2 and up; iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (iOS 4.3 or later)

App Category: Books

Price: $0.99 Android; $1.99 Apple

Famigo Family Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comment by Chris Robertson, posted 7/7/2012, 12:18 AM:

Dear Matthew, Thank you so much for the wonderful review of my children's eBook/App! It's reviews like this that help put the "giddy" back in "giddy up"! Chris Robertson
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