Fireflies: My Favorite App: Dear Zoo         

Oct 3, 2012

My Favorite App: Dear Zoo

Sweet and true to the simplicity of this classic book, Dear Zoo is a keeper if you are looking for a special iPad book app for young children.  Below is a review from Kirkus along with a video showing children interacting with Dear Zoo, the app.

If you write to the zoo to send you a pet, you never know what you’ll get. 
Based on Campbell’s 1982 lift-the-flap nursery favorite, this imagines what happens when you send the zoo a letter, asking for a pet. Page after page introduces a new pet that, once revealed, proves not to be quite right for a variety of reasons... until the perfect one arrives. The animation, while simple, is well suited to the story, and the interactivity level is just right. 
Toddlers will especially love tapping the crates to reveal the animals one by one. Swipe the elephant, and it grows bigger on the page, trumpeting. The grumpy camel’s eye follows readers' fingers as they move about, the snake slithers across the screen with a finger swipe and the monkey actually "grabs" onto readers' fingers. Best of all, the story makes its way into the digital world with great intention, serving worn-out parents well. There is simply no guesswork. The "About This App" option on the title page provides detailed navigation tips for getting the most out of the story, and goes even further to indicate all the interactive elements for each animal. There is a matching game available from the title page as well, which aids in word/story retention. The illustrations, while a bit one-dimensional, mirror the book.
Overall, this app is a keeper, an animal classic that improves in the digital age. 



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