Simple art, bright colors, and a loose-jointed, tap-responsive monkey swathed in oversized knitwear give this app particular appeal for digi-tots.
Playtime begins with Monkey entering through a tap-opened door; with further taps, he boogies or gestures invitingly. Having let him in, on subsequent screens viewers can play hide-and-seek, give him high-fives, feed him bananas, join him in belting out jazzy riffs on musical instruments, watch him moonwalk, send him a “text”—by tapping one of four emojilike icons—and other interactions. On alternating monochrome screens, suggestions (“Monkey is hiding. Can you find him?”) supply initial directions in any of 14 languages, among them Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, Russian and four Asiatic languages. Page turns or further actions are cued in the illustrations by Monkey’s pointing or another unobtrusive animation. Playtime ends with a bedtime story (recognizably Haughton’s own Oh No, George, 2012), and then a final tap turns out the light. Sounds and motions throughout are lively without being startling or frenetic.
A fine addition to any toddler’s virtual shelf, next to the likes of Lazy Larry Lizard (2011) and Sandra Boynton’s e–board books. (Requires iOS 7 and above.) (iPad toddler app. 1-3)