According to Wiktionary.org & my handy bookmark at Thesaurus.com, to goose-up is "to boost or take steps to make something appear more attractive, to increase or augment." And Goosed-up Rhymes could not have been more appropriately named. It is an app that is so packed with games, tappable interactivity and hidden surprises that I emailed the developer to be sure I hadn't inadvertently missed something. I usually spend a few hours with an app, but this one took twice the normal time to review, simply because it has more than twice the content of a typical book app.
The book is broken into 8 'pages' with each nursery rhyme presented as a full multi-media event. The text for every rhyme is the traditional Mother Goose version, but the animations that accompany it are completely unique, adding a humorous dimension to every familiar story. When Humpty Dumpty is about to have a 'great fall' he pipes up to say that his summer wasn't too bad either. This type of irreverent humor fills every page, along with fun interactive elements, like tapping on a nest of eggs to see birds, octopus tentacles or even butterflies 'hatch'.
There are also several games bundled into the app and accessible after the stories have finished playing. These include putting Humpty Dumpty back together, an animated matching game and a 'whack-a-mole' style game. In addition, there are hidden 'acorns' that a cheeky little squirrel asks the child to collect (one acorn is hidden in each nursery rhyme). The games, animations and interactivity are very engaging and my child would have gladly played with this app all day if given the chance.
The app also has nicely enhanced text that highlights as it is read. You can also tap to hear any individual word spoken aloud. This is not necessarily an app for focusing on reading, though. There was simply too much going on with the interactive elements, animation and games to get my child to focus on the text - at least at first. As multi-media entertainment for children, though, this ebook is top notch. Like many new books for the iPad, this app doesn't fit perfectly into any one category in the app store, but if there were a "kids" category, I would expect this app to be on the top of the charts.
The only real drawback to an app this packed with activities, animation & interactivity (besides being too stimulating for bedtime) is the install size of the app. If you have limited space on your device, be aware that this app is a chart topper in more ways than one - weighing in at almost 400 MB. But even with the hefty install requirements, this is an app worth having. I am planning a long road trip and will be adding this app to my list of book apps that can entertain a child for substantial periods of time. It is also an app that is fun for adults to share with a child, with many humorous scenes that will tickle the funny bone of young and old alike.
[An iPhone Version is available, Click HERE.]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Tod Carter/Joe Spadaford
Brain Freeze Entertainment
40 - 60 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 10
This app contains the following Mother Goose nursery rhymes, enhanced with animation, interactivity, games & other extras: Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, Old Mother Hubbard, The Crooked Man, Jack n' Jill, Hey Diddle Diddle, 3 Blind Mice, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star