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developed by Innopage

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: June 27th, 2011
Publisher: Innopage

A rudimentary and lackluster “safari” through the jungle.

Based on the description text and screenshots in the iTunes store, this app appears to be a stimulating and exciting way to spend quality time with young children. Heralded as a “fully animated book” with “sounds and voices” and “fun interactions and puzzles” it would be easy to assume that it’s just the ticket for a rainy day or long afternoon. But it’s not--by a long shot. The “book” contains only seven pages, each offering one interactive element, namely moving bushes, trees or branches around to reveal animals (placement never varies, so they’re always hiding in the same place behind the same shrubbery). “Full animation” means that the same two birds fly across each page in the exact same places. The only text asks where the animals are (“Where are the monkeys?”), and the sounds and voices consist of a continual drum loop in the background, an audio icon that triggers a reading of the text and a "well done" when the animals are revealed. The iTunes store lists nine languages in the product description, but there’s no menu or settings function that might aid in finding them. The developer promises continuing improvements and enhancements, but they are not yet in evidence.

Skip the app and spend the $2.99 on crayons and paper; the kids will likely come up with something more exciting and creative than this jungle dud. (iPad storybook app. 2-4)