It wasn’t difficult deciding which app to review first. After all, for many of us, Dorothy Kunhardt’s Pat the Bunny , first published in 1940, was the first interactive book we encountered. Henrietta Thornton, an SLJ staffer (and a mom) leaped on this one. Here’s her review:
Pat the Bunny
iOS 4.0 or later
Random House Digital, Inc.
Smashing Ideas Inc.
PreS-No need to clutch your pearls; this adaptation of the beloved textured picture book will not replace it. Rather the app complements and adds to the original in ways that wouldn’t be possible using paper. The pages from the title–including daddy shaving, for example, and tucking Paul and Judy into bed–are all here, as are extras that retain the book’s simple pastel style. Children have two choices: paint or read, which feature the same 14 scenes. In both modes, viewers move between screens via unobtrusively placed icons that foreshadow what’s next.
“Paint” offers an activity that even the youngest child can accomplish: completing an illustration by touching it, causing stars to twinkle across the image while color appears. In “Read,” the heart of the app, children can read independently, have the text recited, or record themselves speaking, all with or without music.
The interactivity is easy: touching bunny makes him swing the stick and break a piñata, for example, and touching Judy’s shoes opens their Velcro snaps. Vocal prompts (“Touch bunny to help”) hint at what to do if the reader pauses for more than a few seconds.
A couple of screens are game-like; on one, children open closets, chests, and doors to find the bunny, whose location varies; at bath time they can pop an endless stream of bubbles–the “pop” is just as satisfying as the app’s myriad other sound affects. There’s more than a book here, and literacy is given more than a nod, too; in short, a great app for the lap set. –Henrietta Thornton, School Library Journal
Wednesday’s Review: Be Confident in Who You Are: A Middle School Confidential