A mildly interactive extension of the BBC’s popular animated series for young children.
Before starring in his own storybook app, Boj the bilby (a desert-dwelling marsupial) was delighting kids all over the U.K. with his television series for young children. In this iPad adaptation of an episode, Boj learns what a collection is. Many of his adorable, bubbly friends collect things they love: trophies, robots, hats and stuffed animals. Wanting to start a collection of his own, Boj traverses Giggly Park and gathers some seemingly insignificant treasures. When his friends question the value of his finds, Boj decides to use those items to build things that will add to his friends’ collections. This app is technologically simple. Little fingers can help Boj gather things (though the text says Boj is doing it), and finger taps summon a host of basic animated movements and interactions. Robots chirp, stuffed animals squeak, trophies sparkle. There are two games embedded within the story, one to help Boj collect items and another puzzlelike activity to help him build things. There’s an original song at the end, complete with karaoke lyrics. The only bug is a frustratingly unresponsive icon that’s supposed to take readers back to the home screen; repeated finger taps finally prevail.
The story definitely succeeds at capturing a near-universal childhood impulse and is likely to be a preschool favorite. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)