Two reluctant music students join forces with several jammin’ jungle musicians to form a band.
This 3-D animated storybook begins with two young gorillas grousing about having to go to piano/violin lessons. Their instructor—a grandmotherly gorilla that hangs from a vine—coaxes compliance, which her young protégés grudgingly furnish. As luck would have it, a self-taught drummer and guitarist are trading riffs just a few trees away. When their hip sounds reach the ears of the students, their teacher invites the improvising apes into the school space, and a new band is born. Readers are invited to poke and punch gorillas to prompt their involvement, and tapping each one produces both snippets of music and dialogue. The only beef parents may have with this story is that the music students continually say things like, “This is Grandma music” and “It’s so old fashioned.” True, those are common sentiments among those who would rather skip the discipline and play “cool” music, but the truth is, the great majority of those who play cool music today do so because they were disciplined in the mastery of their instruments. This story never significantly reinforces the value of that, which could lead little ones to believe that their dream of becoming great without instruction or discipline is a reasonable expectation.
Slick graphics, decent interaction, solid storytelling, flawed story. (iPad storybook app, 3-7)