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Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem app review

peg + cat menuThe little-girl and feline, respectively, stars of the animated series Peg + Cat, have a series of loosely math-related, cat-stuck-in-a-tree adventures in The Tree Problem app (PBS Kids, January 2015).

First choose a location: Math-tropolis, Dino Valley, The South Pole, Broadway, The Farm, or Peg’s Backyard. (If you’re indecisive, that just gives you time to hear Cat’s cute tree-related wordplay: “Peek-a-boo, I tree you,” “Tree bien,” “Been there, been stuck in that”). Then pick a level, one through five.

Cat appears at the top of a tree (or treelike structure) on the top-left side of the screen and Peg is on the right. The goal is to bridge the gap between them by manipulating the items that keep them apart. In Dino Valley, for example, three geysers shoot water; swipe the water up or down to change the levels so that Cat can scoot across. The South Pole is a little trickier (and good for a snowy day!), requiring some sense of spatial relations. Roll snowballs back and forth to make them bigger or smaller, then stack them up for Cat.

peg + cat snowballs

Math-tropolis is a little like horizontal Tetris, with beams of differing lengths, and Peg’s backyard involves various shapes (squares, rectangles, triangles).

Peg and Cat keep up the banter throughout, including words of encouragement (“You are the best cat rescuer ever!”). On Broadway, Cat even breaks into song (to the off-key tune of — what else? — Memory). Fans of the show, and most kids around ages three to five, will lap it up.

Available for iPad (requires iOS 6.0 or later); $2.99. Recommended for preschool and early primary users.

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Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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