Created by Josh On, Red in Bed is a lyrical and simple picture book app with the perfect amount of interactivity and animation, lightly added to every page. Designed with the touch tablet in mind, this app (available for iOS and Google-Play) takes a very simple story about the colors all in bed one morning. Only red is feeling sick. The other colors try to help out by coloring strawberries, tomatoes and other red items like a Stop sign, but there really is no substitute for red.
Children will be drawn into the intuitive interface, easily figuring out that you can tap each color/colour ball to hear a different sound, like a piano keyboard. Tapping on the grey items on subsequent pages will 'paint' the circles, in perfect time with the text on each page. This is phenomenal reinforcement for even the littlest readers, making this a rare book app appropriate to share even with a toddler. It is seamlessly integrated, digital perfection and beautiful storytelling by the measure of any format.
The only drawback of this charming little app is the lack of navigation and narration. There is no page guide or even a home button, although with just over a dozen pages, this doesn't present a huge issue. The app is also not narrated, which is unusual for the genre. Reading this storybook aloud yourself to a pre-reader is a perfect way to engage with a child, but it would be nice to have optional narration. The app does have two settings, for turning off sound effects and for setting the language to French, Spanish or Hungarian, in addition to English (including choosing British or American English spelling).
So, despite the lack of a page guide for basic navigation (an essential feature for book apps, so we strongly encourage the developer to add this) and narration, this title gets 5/5 stars overall because it is simply that adorable, well-made and educationally and developmentally ideal for the target age. This app would be delightful for bedtime reading and is a perfect choice for storytimes in the classroom or library setting. It contains no links, in-app purchases or ads at the time of this review.
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.
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6 +
English • French • Spanish •
Red In Bed is an original story about the colors of the rainbow who on this particular day cover for Red who stays in bed, sick. It is written, illustrated and developed by Josh On, an interaction designer who wanted to keep the simplicity of a classic children’s book while adding a layer of gentle interactivity to help involve the child in the narrative directly.
Each color has a note which sounds on a tap, together they can be played like a musical instrument. This interactivity is aimed at pulling the child into the story. As each color goes to saturate objects of the world in their hue, the child reader can touch each object and it will fill with that color and play the color’s note. [Source: iTunes]