This original book from Nosy Crow is based on a series of print 'toddler' board books, first published in 2011 and featuring the adorable illustrations by Benji Davies. Children will love assisting Bizzy as he helps out on a building site in this 2nd Bizzy Bear book app - see Bizzy Bear on the Farm for the first app in this series. Interactivity and character dialogue is driven by the reader, including lots of variety and room for open-ended exploration. In order for this cute cub to complete his chores, readers will need to help him by moving building supplies, digging, hammering, and much more.
Although this app is no fairy tale, it does have many things in common with Nosy Crow's other two book apps (Cinderella & The Three Little Pigs). It is polished and solidly made, including the same adorable child voice-actors. Anyone familiar with their other apps will notice a similar style of interactivity with hints, plus lots of great dialogue in the form of speech bubbles that vary with successive taps.
The app also has a nice array of settings, including links that leave the app that are nicely tucked away in the 'information' section accessible from the title page. There is no page guide, although it is a very short book and if stopped in the middle the reader does have the option to 'restart' or 'resume'. Text is in a nice sized, easy-to-read font, and it now even highlights along with the narration. Page turn is by simple arrows that appear grayed out until the reader has finished all the interactive elements for each scene. Tapping on these arrows re-activates them, though, allowing children to read & explore without having to complete every task.
Overall, this is a great app for the youngest readers, suitable even for toddlers. Older children, up to age 6, will likely enjoy this app too. My 5-year old was able to read most of it by himself and was deeply engaged by all the activities. Bizzy Bear is a charming and beautifully made series, but most of all, it is a lot of fun. Highly recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Camilla Reid/Benji Davies
Nosy Crow Limited
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6
Bizzy Bear arrives at a building site to help out. Builder Ben gives Bizzy a hard hat to wear and then off he goes to do chores all day. First he gets to drive a digger, then he helps with a tractor that pushes the sand into a pile before finally driving a dump truck. After all the cool vehicles, Bizzy Bear is assigned to work on the house, where it is very noisy as everyone is hammering and working with tools at the same time.
Next, Bizzy Bear needs to help Builder Ben, who is out of bricks. He gets to drive a load lifter and drop the bricks in just the right spot. When the house is nearly finished, Bizzy and the others work on paintng, planting and landscape work. The bus then comes to take Bizzy home ... to rest before his next adventure!