This book features a cute little monster named Zoobert who lives in a sock drawer. He sounds and acts like a young child, making him very relatable and definitely one of the least scary monsters on the planet. The reader gets to be involved in the story, not by touching the screen, but by shaking the device. This can be difficult when young children read it on the iPad, because of its weight, but any movement that has a firm 'jerking' motion will usually do the trick (the page has an arrow to tap as an alternative if shaking seems like a bad idea) An iPhone version is also available, see the 'other versions' tab on this review for the link and more information.
The child begins by shaking to wake up Zoobert, then shaking again at each of a dozen junctures in the story. There are three possible scenes that can appear after each shake, giving many combinations, and basically a new story every time it's read. Zoobert plays dress-up, parachutes out of his sock drawer, eats pickles & toothpaste, rides a flying carpet, and so much more.
All versions of the story are filled with the kind of silliness children love. While this digital book seems at first to be rather simplistic (even the graphics aren't very detailed), the way it all comes together is perfect. The cartoon quality of the character and whimsy of the story will have parents and children re-reading it over and over. The sound effects (snoring, sneezing, tummy grumbling, etc.) are nicely produced, but the use of the accelerometer to trigger plot movement in the story is as brilliant as it is simple.
This app has a different version for iPad (Zoobert's BIGGER Day) & iPhone (Zoobert's BIG Day), but both are the same price most of the time and well worth a download. This book also makes a nice night-time read, because the story ends with Zoobert going to sleep. As an aside, I should warn parents, that after the first few times we read this one at bedtime, though, my son was very upset that he couldn't keep re-reading it. The last page says, “the end” but also has a “read again?” button ready to lure the child back to the beginning.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Diana Moore/Jonathan Mahood
Patrick Laneville Enterprises
4 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 3 - 6 +
Zoobert is a cute little baby monster that begins & ends his day of adventures in a sock drawer (where he sleeps, of course). After a help page with clear pictures & text describing how to shake the device, Zoobert is introduced to the reader with the sound of his snores. The narrator asks the reader to 'wake up' Zoobert (by shaking the device). After that, the story is different every time, although it follows along the same basic outline. The difference each time are the choices Zoobert makes about what to wear, eat, ride, do, etc. Each day Zoobert wakes up, gets dressed, gets out of his sock drawer, decides what to eat for breakfast, plays, does something “super extra fantastic”, finds out about the weather outside, trips over something, gets ready for sleep, whispers to the reader (with sound effects of cute gibberish) and finally has the reader translate his whisperings (by shaking the device, of course) before ending the story once again in his sock drawer, ready for sleep. It's a very cute story that has a lot of silly plot twists but otherwise not much plot.