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LITTLE BABY BOB by Banjo & Sons

LITTLE BABY BOB

By Banjo & Sons

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: July 11th, 2013
Publisher: Banjo & Sons

This storybook app for beginning readers provides plenty of exposure to simple rhyming words, but it uses few of the iPad’s capabilities.

Like many babies, Bob loves to bang on pots: “Big pots and small pots, black pots or white pots, he likes the whole lot!” Bob tries to play with pots in his bedroom, in the kitchen and on the porch. Although the language is clear, the reliance on words that rhyme with “pot” overwhelms the meager story. The narration is enunciated but with a marked accent that may sound awkward to native speakers. This storybook app provides only minimal interaction, letting users tap a pot and a cot to see picture definitions. Beginning readers listening to the narration will not see words highlighted as they are spoken, a feature common to apps for this age that they will likely miss. Readers can tap on individual words to hear them pronounced or swipe across a selection to hear a phrase, though. The final page includes a simple coloring page, but the results are never incorporated into the story; again, it’s a common feature that children accustomed to storybook apps will be puzzled not to find. The artwork throughout is amateurish, with simple facial features, Kewpie-doll hair and a body shape that doesn’t quite seem like a baby’s.

With only six screens, this story leaves much to be desired, both as a story for new readers and an interactive app. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)