Although this app isn’t doing anything radically different, its simple design, attractive artwork and excellent narration...

ANIMAL ALPHABET BOOK

While animal alphabet apps are proliferating like bunny rabbits, this app’s clean design makes it stand out from the throngs.

Using a square shape that echoes familiar board books, this alphabet app combines effective narration, appealing illustrations and familiar animals to help young children learn their ABCs. With only a few exceptions, the animals are likely to be familiar to toddlers, ranging from an alligator to a bear to a turtle. The digital illustrations have a cartoon quality, but there’s a real sweetness to them. The soothing palette and lack of animation keeps the energy subdued. Straightforward setting controls allow young readers or an adult to choose the narration style and the character voice (options include a 5-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl or a preschool teacher). All of the narrators are effective, letting young readers identify with the voices, although it’s too bad there isn’t a male narrator as well. Users swipe between screens to move sequentially through the alphabet or double-tap to bring a new letter to the screen in random order. The touch screen is a bit oversensitive, and this may frustrate young readers trying to activate the random feature.

Although this app isn’t doing anything radically different, its simple design, attractive artwork and excellent narration make it an effective way to share the ABCs with babies and preschoolers . (iPad alphabet app. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 11, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Anna and Ava LLC

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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THE GOING TO BED BOOK

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Preserving the look of the classic board book—even to the trim size and rounded corners—this makeover folds new into old in such inventive ways that it may take more than a few passes to discover all the interactive features. Aboard a ship that rocks in response to a tilt of the tablet a set of animal passengers bounce belowdecks. First they take a bath featuring user-created bubbles, and then they brush their teeth using water so hot that the whole screen hazes up with wipe-able “steam.” Pajama-clad, all then wobble—or, tweaked by a finger, rocket—back outside for a bit of exercise before bed. (Readers control this part by twirling the moon.) In the finest animation of all, every touch of the night sky in the final scene brings a twinkling star into temporary being. Along with making small movements that resemble paper-engineered popup effects, Boynton’s wide eyed passengers also twitch or squeak (or both) when tapped. And though they don’t seem particularly sleepy or conducive to heavy lids, an optional reading by British singer Billy J. Kramer (whose well-traveled voice also pronounces each word individually at a touch), backed by soothing piano music, supplies an effectively soporific audio. “The day is done. / They say good night, / and somebody / turns off the light.” This is as beautiful as the developer’s earlier PopOut! Peter Rabbit while styling itself perfectly to Boynton's whimsy. (Ipad board-book app. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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