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BEAN'S NIGHT by Sarah Hines Stephens Kirkus Star


by Sarah Hines Stephens & illustrated by Anna Grossnickle Hines & developed by appropo

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2013
Publisher: appropo

Comfy-cozy digital version of a board book (one of a 1998 trio) featuring a black cat and a squeaky toy mouse.

Touch-sensitive elements—a snoring cat, a toy that squeaks when tapped and can be dragged across a floor or tabletop—and animations such as a slowly setting sun or a falling tablecloth add very easy-to-follow motion to Hines’ original, extra-simple domestic scenes. Here, views of Bean snoozing beneath a window sandwich a brief nighttime stalk and chase. Bean’s Baby offers a nose-to-nose encounter with a laughing infant followed by a shared nap. Bean’s Games include quick rounds of “Jumping Bean,” “String Bean” and, at last, (unsurprisingly) boneless slumber on the lap of a “Human-Bean.” Along with auto-play or manual-advance options, in all three 11-screen episodes, a child reads aloud (optionally) the one or two words or two-word sentences on each screen, then at the end chirps “Again?” Toddlers will certainly take her up on the invitation.

Not as chewable as the originals, but the enhancements are expertly integrated rather than just tacked on and will welcome rather than overwhelm the target audience.

(iPad storybook app. 6 mos.-2)