A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The app is simple to use, but there are two quirks that keep it from being ideal. The first is that you have to touch a relatively small arrow to turn the pages, rather than using a more intuitive swiping motion. The other is that some items are highlighted with yellow lines so you know you can touch them, but others have no highlighting.
Violence & Scariness
The kids in the story engage in a snowball fight. The reader is encouraged to throw snowballs at an opponent, but it's all in good fun.
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Products & Purchases
There is a link from the main menu page that allows you to browse the publisher's other titles and click through to purchase them in the App Store.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Violet and the Mystery Next Door is an interactive mystery storybook with a "choose your own adventure" vibe. The story itself tells the tale of Violet and a new boy who has moved in next door. As the book progresses, she finds a way to get to know him, and they work together to solve a small mystery. By the end, they are friends. At two points in the story, the reader has to make a choice between two paths. The choice doesn't really change the end of the story, but it does change some of the activities faced along the way.
Is It Any Good?
VIOLET AND THE MYSTERY NEXT DOOR has a positive story of friendship with interactive elements and games. Kids may be frustrated that their choice of story path doesn't change the end result, but it does add some additional value by providing different story choices. The variety of interactive elements and engaging tale make this a nice addition to a book app library.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.