An enjoyable app that's light on story and heavy on interaction for toddlers and preschoolers; its showmanship would make even Barnum and Bailey proud.
Simply put, this “big tent” experience is highly rewarding, with curious sound effects at every turn, whimsical illustrations and animation and a super-high level of interactivity. The circus has five different acts—snakes, lions, clowns, dogs and elephants—the “Information” guide says, and each act begins with a challenge to solve before moving on to the next. Once readers solve the challenge, a four-line verse appears along with touch-activated gateways to even more interactive games, puzzles and activities. Readers can juggle, help a clown stand on his head, solve a jigsaw puzzle while snoring lions begin to stir, draw a face on an audience member, roll a ball through a maze, feed the elephant and more—all by tilting the iPad left and right or swiping the object. Each game is simple and amusing, leaving young children with a sense of both surprise and accomplishment. The lack of instructions for the mini games means that parents will likely need to play along for the first round, even for independent readers. It's little hardship, though, because the illustrations evoke an appealing classic storybook style.Lightweight narrative aside, from illustration and animation to sound effects and interactivity, this is a good bet for young children. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)