Kane Miller publishers have been bringing outstanding international children’s titles to the attention of American readers for more than thirty years. Their list includes such favorites as Mem Fox’s Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Taro Gomi’s Everyone Poops, Jae Soo Liu’s Yellow Umbrella, and more recently, Atinuke’s “Anna Hibiscus” series.
Boom Bah!, first published in Australia, represents one of Kane Miller’s first forays into digital and they’ve teamed up Demibooks Studio to produce it. The app is available through iTunes, or through the reader app Demibooks® Storytime.
Title: Boom Bah!
Author: Phil Cummings
Illustrated by: Nina Rycroft
Narrated by: Connie Ligman
Original Music by: Barry Leitch
Published by: Kane Miller, 2010
Developed by: Demibooks Studio
Platform: iOS, requires 4.2 or later
PreS-K-Based on the whimsical book of the same title (Kane Miller, 2010), Boom Bah! takes a small animal (mouse) and a small noise (ting) on a cumulative romp through a house and then countryside, growing from one animal and kitchen-improvised music to a band outfitted with a collection of instruments. The story’s beginning features farm animals playing spoons, cups, and lids as they gleefully parade through the pages. When the group discovers a uniformed band, they follow it to the book’s final “Tah-dah!”
The few words per page and watercolor illustrations of animals in action beg for movement and each page introduces one, along with a sound and an animation. A touch to the mouse elicits the tap of a spoon against a cup. On the next screen, viewers see the cat stretching for the small creature and hear a chorus of notes played in rhythm. Some pages produce individual sounds, like that of a tuba, others feature strands of music. Some screens picture static animals on ground that moves; others depict dancing creatures, and still another presents all the animals rolling past the hills. The text does not repeat when touched, but the sounds do. Page turning and other operations are intuitive—no directions needed.
Youngsters will enjoy exploring each screen and find the narration and rhythms pleasing. This is an app that will be appreciated by its audience for its magic and its connections to movement and music.—Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI.