Packed with silly, playful animation and perfectly fitting music and narration, this adaptation of Boynton's board book gets the tone and whimsy just right.
In this story of animals gathering for a cow-directed barnyard dance, each action is illustrated with rotating animations, bouncing critters, skittering rodents and other delights. The very easy-to-navigate pages give subtle, nearly transparent prompts to readers showing how to make the animations work. Swinging pigs may require drawing a small circle with a finger, while prancing horses may only require a button tap. The text from the original book still packs a galloping rhythm, and the banjo and violin music makes it bounce even higher. "Stand with the donkey / Slide with the sheep. / Scramble with the little chicks— / CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP!" In addition to the motions of the animals, the violin the cow holds can be played by moving a finger across the strings. Perhaps best of all is narrator John Stey's gruff but musical voice work; his soothing cadences may remind adults of Jeff Bridges.
What at first may seem like an over-the-top adaptation of a simple board book manages to retain the small-scale charms of the original while offering many new ways to enjoy one rollicking hootenanny. (iPad board-book app. 1-5)