Based on Chris Judge's popular print title, The Lonely Beast, this book app is simple but beautiful and filled with unique interactive elements that will surprise and delight young fingers. In the print title, republished in 2011, a cute 'beast' travels far and wide to find friends so he won't be lonely anymore. Simple illustrations in silhouette and crisp clear text make the original print book and this new app well suited to toddlers and preschoolers.
There are a lot of alphabet apps on the market, but this one is especially well-designed artistically, with a different approach to the interactive scene on each of the 26 pages. Children will love the chance to pop bubbles, play the drums (the screen even 'jumps' slightly when hitting the large bass drum), and jiggle jello (called 'jelly' in the British English version). Each scene feels lovingly constructed and features the adorable 'beast' from the original book in so many new situations. Lovers of the print title will not want to miss this one!
Unfortunately, the app does have a couple flaws. First of all, there is no way to navigate the app, except to swipe pages back and forth. There are actually no settings at all. At the end, you can tap a button to return to the beginning, but that's it. A simple home button would be a minimum requirement, in my opinion, but even better would be a thumbnail page guide. The audio sound effects are also wonderful in this app (you could almost use the page with ocean waves as a sound machine), but it would be nice to have on/off settings for sound. Arrow page turning would also be a nice option to add for very young children, who often have difficulty with page swiping in an interactive app.
Otherwise this app is beautifully polished in a way that shows off thoughtful design, literally from A-Z. I often say that we don't need any more ABC apps - the market is inundated with early education apps like this - but we do need a few really good ones. And few are as truly delightful as this one.
June 2013: Now updated as a universal app and including proper pronunciations for American audiences.
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.
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 5
"The Lonely Beast ABC is a flash card alphabet adventure based on Chris Judge’s much loved children’s book, The Lonely Beast.
Chris has created 26 new interactive hand-drawn scenes featuring the Beast and his friends, to help kids learn the alphabet, discover new words and have heaps of fun all at the same time.
From (fully playable) musical instruments and dancing robots, to spinning bow ties and laughing monkeys, this is a very hands-on journey through the alphabet. To demonstrate our commitment to cutting edge technology, the app also includes a fully operational virtual light switch.
Put together in a shed at the end of a garden, the three-man team in charge of The Lonely Beast ABC have created a uniquely designed and illustrated app, sure to trigger lots of giggles in children of all ages."