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BOOM BAH by Phil Cummings


by Phil Cummings & illustrated by Nina Rycroft & developed by Kane Miller

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: May 16th, 2012
Publisher: Kane/Miller

Pleasant animal characters use household items to create a marching band in this app based on an Australian picture book of the same name (2010).

A mouse taps a spoon on a mug with a “ting,” and thus begins a musical romp featuring barnyard animals using kitchen utensils to create a marching band. The rhyming, rhythmic text is fun to follow: “A bell, a can, some lids, a cup. / Ting! Tong! Warming up.” The charming watercolor characters line up in front of large swaths of white space. When the makeshift band meets a marching band with real instruments, they all come together in a rousing crescendo. While there are a few animations and interactive moments, there are also missed opportunities and some disconnect between the story and the interactivity. For instance, when the narrator counts the chicks, “one, two, three, four,” the opportunity for kids to count them is taken away.  When, according to the text, the rooster nods his head and taps his toe, the only thing that kids can move on the screen are some falling feathers. Single-page navigation is adequate, while other options include the ability to mute the narration and sound effects.

The story and illustrations are charming, but the app underutilizes the opportunities presented by the format. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)