I have been in absolute storybook app heaven lately because I keep hearing about favorite books that are making their way into the App Store. The most recent one is The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. We purchased a copy of this book when our eleven year old was just a baby. It’s been read to each of our children and is now worn, dog eared and well loved.
Loud Crow Interactive is the company that developed Pop Out! The Tale of Peter Rabbit last year and they are the ones who have turned The Going to Bed Book into an interactive storybook. They’ve done a marvelous job. The book on the screen looks just like the board book only the illustrations will move and wiggle like a pop-up book. For example, if you tilt your device the arc on the very first page tilts in the water and the animals slide in that direction. When the animals are taking their bath you can “pull” on a tag to add more bubbles to the bath. I have two favorite interactions. The first is the illustration of the animals brushing their teeth. You can turn on the water and then use your finger to get them moving and brushing their teeth. When they do this the iPhone screen starts to fog up, just like a bathroom mirror. You’ll have to use your finger to wipe it clear but it will keep fogging up until you turn off the water. Very clever effect. My second favorite interaction happens when the animals are walking up stairs. If you use your finger to pull them back slightly they’ll take off up the stairs. It’s a simple thing but so silly. There are plenty of little things to discover just by tapping or swiping on the screen or tilting your device in different directions.
The Going to Bed Book comes with narration and a piano composition that plays in the background. The narration is done by Billy J. Kramer, a well known British recording artist. The piano composition is by Michael Ford. Both artists have collaborated with Sandra Boynton in the past. Billy J. Kramer recorded “Cow Planet” on Boynton’s record Dog Train. Mr. Ford has played a key role in Boynton’s past musical recordings and I think it’s terrific he’s on board for this project. The piano music and the narration are both soothing. I’m going to admit that it took me a few listens to like the narration. It’s very subdued and soothing which isn’t how I usually read the book to my own children. I think that it didn’t appeal to me at first because it’s not what I’m used to and what I was expecting. It does fits with the theme of the book though, this is a bedtime story after all. If you’d rather not listen to the narrator there’s a read to yourself version. You’ll still be able to tap on words to hear them spoken aloud.
The Going to Bed Book comes in two versions, iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch. I tried out the iPhone version which is $1.99 and I’m not exactly sure how it differs from the $2.99 iPad version. The app looks terrific on the iPhone but if I had my pick I’d probably opt for the larger screen of the iPad, more room for little fingers to tap on the screen. But if you’re a Boynton fan who doesn’t own an iPad don’t pass this by. The iPhone version I tested is terrific and I do not think you’ll be disappointed one bit.
Price when Reviewed: $1.99 for iPhone and $2.99 for iPad
Seller: Loud Crow Interactive
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.