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The Sneetches - Dr. Seuss

March 6, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Stars vs Plain Bellies ... but who can tell who apart?

Many adults treasure their memories of reading Dr. Seuss, but how many remember the lessons they learned? Maybe not consciously, but on some level, everyone who reads Seuss titles with deeper messages, gets much more than entertainment. The Sneetches is just one such title like this, featuring a tale about exclusion, discrimination and possibly worse. Star-bellied Sneetches turn their noses up at the 'plain-belly' types, making some Sneetches feel 'less than' ... a situation that is ripe for intervention.

Intervention comes, in a 'music-man' sort-of way, as an entrepreneur named Sylvester McMonkey McBean arrives with a machine that can add or remove belly stars in a jiffy, confusing the Sneetches social order to the point of nonsense. Soon Sneetches are arriving and leaving Mr. McBean's machine in droves 'til no one can tell which bellies used to be starred and which were just plain. McBean leaves with fistfuls of cash, but the Sneetchs are left with a priceless lesson.

For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is narrated. Tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 'read-it-myself' mode. Most of the Dr. Seuss books are great for children learning to read because they are filled with simple words and while this title goes beyond 'sight' words it should be an enjoyable read for kids 6 and up. For younger kids (and adults who would rather listen instead of getting tongue tied), narration is a great option.

Although each page is essentially a still image, many pages begin by panning over Seuss' classic original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each segment of text, a nice semi-animated style. Most of the items pictured in the story also react to a light tap. A visual image of the word with accompanying audio appears (for example, tap on the illustration of a star and the word "star" appears with audio saying “star”). If the word is also present in the text, it highlights there as well, providing lots of visual reinforcement for young readers.

Overall this is a wonderful story app, lacking only a page guide to make navigation easier. If you love Dr. Seuss, there are lots of digital titles available as apps in almost any format. This book is also great for bedtime reading or storytime with multiple children, like in a classroom setting. Highly recommended!

[Video tab shows a full, animated video based on the Sneetches book, not a version of the app.]

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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The Sneetches - Dr. Seuss

March 6, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Dr. Seuss

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
10 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
48 Pages


Story Synopsis - The Sneetches - Dr. Seuss

The Sneetches is the first story in The Sneetches and Other Stories, a collection of stories by Dr. Seuss, published in 1961. It is composed of four separate stories, "The Sneetches", "The Zax", "Too Many Daves", and "What Was I Scared Of?". The first two stories in the book were later adapted, along with Green Eggs and Ham, into the animated TV musical special Dr. Seuss on the Loose.

The Sneetches is about a group of yellow creatures called Sneetches, some of whom have a green star on their bellies. At the beginning of the story, Sneetches with stars discriminate against and shun those without. A "fix-it-up chappie" named Sylvester McMonkey McBean appears and offers the Sneetches without stars the chance to have them with his Star-On machine, for three dollars. The treatment is instantly popular, but this upsets the original star-bellied Sneetches, as they are in danger of losing their special status.

McBean then tells them about his Star-Off machine, costing ten dollars, and the Sneetches who originally had stars happily pay the money to have them removed in order to remain special. However, McBean does not share the prejudices of the Sneetches, and allows the recently starred Sneetches through this machine as well. Ultimately this escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next, "until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knewwhether this one was that one... or that one was this oneor which one was what one... or what one was who."

This continues until the Sneetches are penniless and McBean departs a rich man, amused by their folly. Despite his assertion that "you can't teach a Sneetch," the Sneetches learn from this experience that neither plain-belly nor star-belly Sneetches are superior, and they are able to get along and become friends.

"The Sneetches" was intended by Seuss as a satire of discrimination between races and cultures, and was specifically inspired by his opposition to antisemitism. [Source: Wikipedia]

[Video tab shows a full, animated video based on the Sneetches book, not a version of the app.]


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, Home, News On/Off, Sound On/Off, Links to: AppStore, Twitter, FB, Email, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 11.56 MB

Version: 1.08.3

Lite Version Available: No



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