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From the Ready to Sing with Andy Z series

by Andy Z & illustrated by Woody Miller & developed by Think Active!

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2011
Publisher: Think Active

The entertaining song at the core of this picture-book app is poorly served by unsophisticated effects and uninspiring animation.

This app is based on a picture book that is in turn based on a song by Andy Z, a children’s musician with several recordings to his name. Scarecrow ventures out each night to run in the cornfields, leaving the farmer puzzled as to why his clothes are tattered in the morning. The Scarecrow song is catchy, and the two-voice harmony accompanied by guitar is very enjoyable. However, the muddy colors of the Scarecrow are discordant with his playful expressions and jar with the pastel greens, blues and purples of the background. The animation is uninspired and simplistic, with Scarecrow moving awkwardly through the cornfields. The expressive crows are probably the best element of the graphics and animation. The challenge to creating an app based on a song is apparent here. Any interactive opportunities for the viewer in the “sing-to-me” mode would interfere with the flow of the song, so the creators wisely don’t put any in. Even in the "read-by myself" mode, however, there is only one rudimentary interactive element per page, doing little to enhance the experience. Navigation works fine, with a forward, backward and home button on every page. 

Meager enhancements and amateurish animation mar this effort. (iPad storybook/song app. 2-6)