Everyone knows that bathtime is fun, but when was the last time your tub became a zoo?
At first glance, this toddler app appears to be an interactive bathtime primer, with quacking rubber ducks and bubbles to pop. But it’s not about all the interesting things a toddler can learn about bathing. It’s about a bubbly tub that soon fills up, in turn, with a giraffe, a cow and her calf, a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a frog and a bird. The story is conveyed in a playful, rhyming, call-and-response format in which an unseen parent indulges the (also unseen) child’s imaginings. “ ‘- a calf and a cow? / – but where? But how?’ / ‘They’re in here right now / and the cat says miaow!’ ” The text appears on one screen, and on the next, readers see the tub with a splotch-shaped button topped by a label for the last-named animal. Tap that, and the animal appears in the tub. Yes, it could be fun to host a zoo in the tub, but the story itself doesn’t really go anywhere. There is no escalating, cumulative foolery until the final page. Although the animals make noises, there is no narration, leaving adult caregivers to navigate the text.
In the end, this tub just isn’t full enough. (iPad storybook app. 1-3)