Clever and packed with interactivity, this app entertains but also confuses, as the star characters look an awful lot more like silly monkeys than giggly gorillas.
Beginning with 10 playful gorillas hanging high in the treetops of a generic jungle, readers are challenged to “tickle” the specific gorilla mentioned in that screen’s text. The featured gorilla is easily identified through clues in the text and by the various and funky objects they hold or wear, such as flippers, a bow tie or a drum. Once the correct gorilla is tapped/tickled, it plummets or, in some cases, swan dives to the jungle floor, leaving the group of gorillas down one. This pattern repeats until there are no gorillas left dangling. The rhyming and repetitive text mostly works, but stretches thin in a few places, although the cheerful female Australian narrator makes most rhymes work with a natural ease. Readers can also choose to narrate on their own with or without sound effects, although these noises, which are invoked by tapping any of the gorillas, add a humorous chaos to the text. Hidden within each page is a colorful toucan, which greets readers when tapped. Extra features include a gorilla memory game.
This enjoyable rhyming-pattern book reinforces simple counting concepts—if only the titular characters looked like gorillas. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)