Since app developer Ink Robin came on the scene last year, I have been a big fan of theirs. Some of my all-time favorite storybook apps were developed by Ink Robin. If you haven’t checked out my review of Piccadilly’s Circus or The Hippo, The Rhino, The Elephant… And Me – you really should. Both stories are wonderful and the illustrations in Piccadilly’s Circus are dreamy (and it is quite funny). Ink Robin just released Jerry’s Day Out and it is filled with photographs around New York that the developers took themselves. There is a really cute map that shows you all the main hot spots in New York such as the East Village, Greenwich Village, Chelse and Soho. Then of course you have Upper West and East Side where we find the picture of the boy – so that must be where he lives. At any time, you can go back to the map to take a new adventure for in each city is picture of a character that we will meet up with.
The story starts off telling us about three best friends – a young boy holding a yellow balloon, his black dog and Jerry, his blue budgie bird – standing outside the boys house. They were looking to have an adventure when all of a sudden a gust of wind blew away their pretty yellow balloon. The little boy’s smile turned upside down into a frown when it blew away. When you touch his pets, they either bark or sing a little song.
Jerry the bungi tried to chase the balloon until he couldn’t chase it any further. He takes you way up in the sky and you can see down over most of New York. Jerry got lost along with their balloon that flew far far away!
Next we find him sitting on a mailbox sitting next to a coackroach who was dressed up in a suit and briefcase. You know these critters have lots of work to do in large cities! Jerry jumps off the mailbox to ask a group of chipmunk cyclists if they could help him find his way home. They said of course, and asked him his address. Jerry didn’t know what his address was because no one had told him. This provides the perfect opportunity as parents to make sure your child knows his/her home address!
In the far left corner is a little blue T that when touched will add the text at the bottom of the story. So you have the option to have it read to you or you can read along with the story. Great for early readers. Again, in the right upper corner you will find the map that you can go to at any time during the story to go on another adventure. In another neighborhood, he met a group of pigeons who asked him where he was going. When Jerry told them he needed to find his apartment, the pigeons offered to have him live outside with them. Jerry said thanks but he preferred to live inside. Jerry also ran into a crocodile and a turtle in a park who asked him if he wanted to go swimming with them. I really like that we get a tour of New York City and the hot spots you would want to visit if you went there. Jerry in his quest to get home – takes us on a tour of the city, and introduces us to the creatures you might find in New York – though I don’t think we will find a crocodile in the park (I sure hope not!). But the pigeons, squirrels, cockroaches, and even rats are all part of the landscape.
The animations are simple but are fun additions. Lke when you touch one of the rats who are trying to talk Jerry into hanging out with them in the park - he squirts his pal with a hose. I liked the group of fox who were creating graffiti art on the sidewalks and walls. Jerry tried it out but ended up just squirting himself with the spray paint. And my absolute favorite scene was when he met up with some owls playing some jazz on to of the Apollo Theater. When you touch them they play a little jig for you. And Jerry will flip in joy if he is touched. These simple yet clever additions are quite fun! I like that in each scene, children learn a bit more about New York, the culture, sights and sounds. The story is quite clever and is a wonderful way to introduce some culture to kids. A really nice addition to your app library!
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.
This review was originally published on January 14, 2014 by Melissa Northway. She has several sites, including MelissaNorthway.com and DandelionMoms.com. Melissa, created her first book app, Penelope the Purple Pirate, in 2011.
Melissa's sites provide app and book reviews, as well as featuring individuals, companies and products in the tech & book industry. She is not only a children's picture book author, but she's also a mom and was voted as a 2013 Circle of Moms' Top 25 Tech Moms. She also provides reviews on her fabulous personal blog, MelissaNorthway.com
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Ink Robin/Gustav DeJert
Ink Robin, Inc
12 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 5 +
Introducing Jerry: He's a small bird lost in a big city, and he needs to find his way home. Join him as he wanders the neighbourhoods of New York, meeting all kinds of characters along the way. There are high society possums in Soho, street artist foxes on the Lower East Side, jazz musicians in Harlem and even weasels on Wall Street, but none of them seem to be much help. Will Jerry ever find his way back?