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Patchy by Crossroad Solutions – Review

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Patchy is a charming animated storybook app for iPad by Crossroad Solutions, a small web development company from Pondicherry in South India. Crossroad Solutions is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.

Sadly, Patchy the little patchwork doll was abandoned by his owner and left in an old empty house where he spent his days staring out the window until the day he spots a little girl crying just outside. Patchy literally opens his heart to the girl and sends her his most valued possession – his little heart patch. The girl, along with the help of her large dog, discover Patchy and she claims him as her own where they began their lifelong friendship.

Featuring colourful, clear illustrations, this heartwarming poem-based story about the new-found friendship between Patchy and the little girl is quite fittingly narrated by a young girl. I initially found the background music a little sombre for a kids app but it really is quite beautiful and works well with the storyline, and does become more upbeat as the story goes on. The story can be read in ‘Autoplay’ mode and once it has been completed, the next time it is read there are simple but fun activities enabled for the kids to do (look for the bucket and spade!). For the beginner readers, it might have been a nice addition to have the text highlighted as it was read out.

The story of Patchy holds a wonderful lesson for children and adults alike – putting your own feelings aside to care for others. The recommended age for this app is 4-7 which would be accurate as anyone younger would tend to lose interest rather quickly. A delightful story with a great moral!

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