Take a walk on the wild side with this sweet and soothing virtual story book featuring sleepy creatures from the African plains.
Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
– Amazing artwork is whimsical
– Storybook layout helps kids with reading skills
– Player has full control over viewing content
– Additional “activities” cost money
The general consensus among parents of young children is that bedtime is a constant struggle. Most parents will tell you that establishing a routine is the key to avoiding meltdowns and stalling when it comes to tucking in your tots. Goodnight Safari shows us that even in Africa baby and mommy animals all go through the motions that we do in our house.
The first thing that struck me when I opened this app was the original artwork, which really looks like a fine watercolor on richly textured book pages. From the menu page I had several options – the sound could be on or off, I could have the book read to me, read it myself, or pick a certain scene.
I began by having the story read to me and a deep, lightly accented voice told the story of mother-baby animal pairs getting ready for bed. Each word was highlighted in yellow as the story went on so young children would be able to enhance their reading skills. After the paragraph was read, a small blue dot appeared where I could tap the baby animal to watch what he does before going to bed. The zebra chases a butterfly to her mom, the giraffe has a leafy snack to fill his belly, and the rhino bobs in a pond to take a bath.
When the story was over my last task was to drag the sun behind the grassland horizon so that the stars came out and the animals fell fast asleep. As an e-reader story book, this app really hits the mark. I really felt as though I was turning the pages and the interactivity appealed strongly to my two-year-old. As kids these age often do, my toddler became fixated on one of the pages (the zebra) and played it over and over. Fortunately the Pick-A-Page option allowed her to do this without having to repeat the whole story.
Older kids might be a little bored with the ease and simplicity of the content of the app as-is. There are other activities available as an in-app purchase, such as matching the baby animal to its mama and a counting mini-game. All four mini-games cost $0.99 each, and for someone like myself who cringes at the thought of paying for an in-app upgrade, almost $5 is pretty steep. There’s also the very real possibility that young players will inadvertently hit “buy” if your iTunes account is set up with payment options.
The additional costs don’t enhance the app further but as a free download this virtual book is a beautiful addition to your app lineup.
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