This original story app from Nosy Crow Apps is based on Nosy Crow’s board book series Bizzy Bear by Benji Davies. Bizzy Bear visits the farm to help out. From the moment that he steps off of the bus, he is kept busy feeding the pigs; rounding up the sheep (making sure they don’t escape); collecting eggs and picking apples; taking the horse for a ride, and putting the tractor in the shed when the work is all done.
There is a wealth of detail to explore: make the animals moo, quack and baa; chase an elusive dragonfly; help a bird feed her chicks; listen to the snoring mouse, and make the horse canter, gallop or walk, turning him round to retrace his steps at the end of the ride.
The music and sound are very special. Whistled snatches of Old Macdonald Had a Farm drift discreetly into the action. The ducks on the pond can be encouraged to sing in close harmony, using the quack of the mother duck as a beat box. A pair of crows can be tapped to create a crow’s chorus. And the opening page has a simple song which the reader can quickly sing along with, using the dog and the cow as on- or off-beat accompaniments. Authentic sound effects, animal noises and farmyard noise complete the soundscape.
The app is very easy to use. Clear directions are given by the use of blue spots to tap and hints from characters. Walk characters around each scene, or flick them to make them jump or flip. Choose from two play modes, Read and Play or Read by Myself. There is no narration (which is a strength), but there are 3 options for the length of time that text remains on screen to suit a range of reading abilities. Additional dialogue is generated by tapping characters. All of these features support a toddler’s independent exploration, facilitating uninterrupted and unmediated play within the story.
Age range: 2 – 4
Educational value: imaginative play; animal names and sounds; co-ordination skills; singing; developing a sense of beat; counting; learning to help
Fun rating: 5/5
Educational rating: 5/5
View at YouTube