Loud Crow Interactive, in my admittedly limited experience with these things, knows how to produce book apps (check out their Peter Rabbit — it’s superb), honoring the original book while adding just the right amount of special-effects pizzazz. With Sandra Boynton’s The Going to Bed Book, I’ll even go so far as to say that Loud Crow’s digital interpretation is superior to the print edition. Blasphemy? I guess that depends on what you feel a book app should be. I’m not suggesting that this app replace the book, because once a child is distracted with rocking the boat, popping bubbles, and wiping steam off the screen (totally cool) they’re not going to pay much attention to Boynton’s verse. Speaking of which, Billy J. Kramer’s soothing, accented narration and the quiet, gentle background music enhance the whole experience. Like Oceanhouse, Loud Crow’s app highlights each word in the text as it’s being read, a harmless if pointless exercise for the board-book set. Here, however, when you slide out an onscreen drawer, instead of hearing and seeing the word drawer, a bunch of pajamas pop out of the drawer and fall all over the screen. Tip the screen side to side and the jammies tumble to the left and the right. Just the kind of surprise this audience likes, and just the kind of thing that apps do best.
Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 4.3 or later); $3.99. Recommended for preschool users.