'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 18 July 2012

ebook Review: Little Fox Music Box

Want stunning visuals and brilliance with your ebooks and apps? Here 'tis. I LOVE Little Fox and his Music Box. Where do I start? Should I tell you that my first few taps had me squealing in glee - would that be enough for you?

The presentation of this ebook app is simple and easy to navigate. Kids tap on SONGS and can then scroll through three choices - London Bridge, Evening Song and Old MacDonald - and this is where the magic unfolds.

In London Bridge, an exquisitely-illustrated scene appears, complete with bobbing pirate ship and bridge pedestrians. Then - children start singing. Yes, that's right. Adorable, childlike voices burst into song, making for audio charm personified.

As kids listen to the song, lyrics appear at the top of the page, and a slew of interactivity beckons little fingers. A bus careens forward, depositing a high-diving croc into the Thames. A dog nearly plummets into the river, while a thatch of Japanese tourists rush forward to take photos. An old woman in a wheelchair uses a passerby to plug the gap in the bridge.

This is pure comic genius and both adults and kids will laugh out loud.

Evening Song and Old MacDonald are equally resplendent in charm and visual beauty (though an adult sings Evening Song). Tappables are seemingly endless, and pages can be scrolled sideways for a more panoramic scene. In Old MacDonald, kids can change the scene from season to season - genius.

There are truly stunning sound effects, sound and music can be muted (so kids can just play with the myriad interactive elements) and there is a home button on each page. Helpful visual prompts (which appear after some time) encourage kids (and dare I say it? Mum and Dad) to explore and find the many interactive options available.

There are even karaoke versions of each song so kids can take centre stage, and the songs and text are available in both English and German. My only criticism would be - there's not enough songs; I want more! Having said that, for the price and detail, three songs is still extremely good value.

Kids can also head to Fox's Studio for an unparallelled music-making experience - tapping on all manner of critters and noise-making options to create their own hilarious tune. Brilliant.

Illustrations by Heidi Wittlinger are truly stunning and have enormous crossover appeal. Congratulations to a very talented team; can't wait to see more.


Little Fox Music Box is produced by Goodbeans and is available on iTunes.