Based on Berkes and Canyon’s 2007 book, this new interactive counting and sing-along app is a snazzy introduction to the fauna of the rain forest.
Centering around the lush and colorful illustrations, each page introduces a new species with information on how the animal parents care for their young and often revealing a bit about their environment: The poison dart frogs appear in the bromeliads so important to their survival, for instance. The text is written in rhyme to fit the familiar tune and can be heard sung or read by the author; there is also a “Read to Myself” mode. Simple animations allow readers to set the animal babies in motion. Butterflies flutter and marmosets swing, each in their own stratum of the jungle. Emphasizing the many layers of habitat in the rain forest, the appended “Find the Babies” counting game shows where in the jungle each of the species makes its home. Further information on each animal, plus photos, follows, as do bios of each of the creators. The illustrator’s discussion of her techniques should appeal to young artists. It’s not quite as flawlessly interactive as the developer’s previous app, Over in the Ocean (2012); there are some bugs with page turns, and background music and jungle sounds often don’t play in “Read to Myself” mode.
Rich with learning experiences, Berkes’ book elegantly combines art, reading, counting and music with the natural sciences. (iPad informational app. 3-8)