Mabell’s Zoo incorporates collage style artwork reminiscent of beloved Eric Carle books from my daughters early years and I really liked the way the layering and crumpled paper texture of the background produces a 3D effect. The detail in the animals is impressive and I was excited by the diversity included. Using animal favorites invites learning where the focus is placed on involement with and counting animals instead of the text on the page. The animal scene fills the screen and with finger taps and swipes you interact with the app. On the first page you find one elephant. When you touch his long trunk he trumpets and swings his head from side to side. The caption states “Elephant gives rides to the birds” and multi-colored birds flit around as you tap them. Some of the other animals you’ll encounter are swinging monkeys, sleeping koalas and party ready seals. Each have activities specific to what you might find in an actual zoo exhibit.
Each page is accompanied by realistic animal sounds and toy piano chimes that small children will relate to. In my testing, older audiences liked the book as a story but smaller children spent more time examining the pictures and seemed to enjoy it more. I would definitely recommend it for preschoolers and toddlers.
This app is also available for Android on Google Play
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.