Over in the Jungle is a beautifully illustrated book app based on the print title published in 2007. Author Marianne Berkes weaves a simple but sweet story about jungle animals over ten pages, counting one-by-one until by all the animal babies have been found. This well-crafted tale, told in rhyme, is delightful and can be read aloud, narrated (with highlighting) or even sung to young listeners.
As lovely as the story is, the illustrations are even better! Beautiful colors depict diverse creatures from monkeys to insects with light interactivity and animation. The jungle comes alive with Jeanette Canyon's original creations. Music is also lovely as an addition to this multi-media app, however it has been poorly implemented. The high-quality guitar soundtrack plays in the background but stops abruptly between pages, breaking the otherwise seamless reading experience.
Being an app, the developers also added a counting game, asking youngsters to 'find the babies' in a scene with ten howler monkeys. Finding all the primates takes some time and may be frustrating for the littlest readers without some help from an adult. This extra is small but well loved by the digital generation.
Overall, this is a beautifully illustrated and well-crafted storybook made into an app, featuring a classic rendering of a counting book. Digital features like a pageguide would be nice, as well as seamless music, but otherwise this is a must-have for animal lovers. The illustrations alone are worth a look, approximating 3-D with their vividness.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Marianne Berkes/Jeanette Canyon
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 2 - 5 +
Now this best-selling counting & sing-along book is an interactive app! Like its award-winning cousin, the Over in the Ocean app, Over in the Jungle is “jam-packed with vibrant colors, engaging interactivity, fluid poetry, predictable text and ‘teachable moments’.” Children count, poke and jiggle the rainforest animal babies to watch them squawk, scurry, and scramble—just as the animals do in real life. And then children will search for all the babies in a counting game. “Over in the Jungle” (book) has won numerous awards, including the International Reading Association’s “Teacher’s Choice Award.” This app is a fun way to reinforce learning, and is entirely safe for children--it does not contain ads, social media, in-app purchases, or links, nor does it collect data. It is available in English only.
• Remarkable artwork is constructed entirely from polymer clay! You will want to grab your own colored clay after illustrator Jeanette Canyon explains how she does it.
• Choose between “Read to Me,” “Read to Myself,” and “Sing to Me.”
• Children can touch the animal babies or jiggle the screen to watch them perform their distinctive true-to-life actions (for example, the howler monkeys hoot and the boa constrictors squeeze).
• After being introduced to all the animal babies (one marmoset, two morpho butterflies, and so on) the babies "play hide and seek!" The child is invited to play a counting game to find them all, “from ten to one.”
• Includes a real-life photograph of each animal with interesting information about the species.
• All information is scientifically accurate. The author also explains the wide variety of ways in which animal parents care for their young.