Wild About Books

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Wild About Books App Poster Image
Delightful rhyming interactive book with tilting scenery.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Kids tap arrows to advance to the next page or go back to the previous page. There is no swiping to turn a page. Tapping a monkey icon pauses the game and brings up the Table of Contents, where kids can tap the same page to resume from where they left off, or scroll to a different part of the story. Kids can tap anywhere in the pictures to trigger animations and sound effects, and can tilt the iPad to see different parts of the scenery.

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An icon on the title page links to a page where you can learn about more apps from Random House or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wild About Books for iPad is a digital adaptation of the award-winning picture book by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown. The story celebrates children's literature by having Molly, the book-mobile driver, set up shop in the zoo and introduce all of the animals to the joys of reading. Kids can follow along to narrated text, or turn off the sound and read out loud by themselves. The book also has an index that allows kids to jump to their favorite page.

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Is it any good?

The iPad version of WILD ABOUT BOOKS boasts colorful pictures with plenty of interactive elements that respond with sound effects and animations when tapped -- like an elephant trumpeting, or Molly spinning around in her chair. Most impressive of all, kids can even tilt the iPad to change the perspective of the scene like a pop-up book that shows multiple depths. The story holds its own as well -- it's delightfully written with some truly laugh-out-loud moments (for grown-ups as well as kids), such as the selections of bug poetry in the insect zoo, complete with "stinging" critiques from the scorpion. Kids will delight in seeing that the animals enjoy the same classic books as they do, including The Cat in the Hat, Harry Potter, Crictor,  and Good Night Moon.

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