Bizzy Bear Builds a House app review

The star of Benji Davies’s Bizzy Bear board book series and the Bizzy Bear On the Farm app returns in Bizzy Bear Builds a House (Nosy Crow, July 2012).

Based on Bizzy Bear: Let’s Get to Work, this app invites toddlers to pitch in around a construction site with Bizzy, completing tasks such as digging a hole, piling sand, and unloading bricks. In addition to operating a digger, crane, bulldozer, dump truck, and load lifter to do these jobs, users can move characters around the scene, put on Bizzy’s hard hat, make birds chirp, paint a fence, and flush a toilet. As the house takes shape, the animal members of Bizzy’s crew offer suggestions and encouragement (“Thanks for all your help. You’re welcome to join my crew anytime”). Tool and machine sound effects and cheery background music enhance Davies’s bright cartoon illustrations of the team hard at work.

As in other Nosy Crow apps, the text is supplemented by dialogue, both spoken aloud and shown in speech bubbles. Characters’ responses cycle through a number of different possibilities with each tap. Pulsing blue dots indicate where/when to tap; some taps are needed to propel the story forward, but plenty of these interactive opportunities come as fun surprises. Users can opt to hear the text and word bubbles narrated by a cast of charming British-accented children or to read the story on their own.

The app is more activity-oriented than narrative-driven, but kids (especially truck-crazed ones) will enjoy the chance to operate the various vehicles — and the satisfaction of helping out. And at app’s end when the crew leader says, “I hope you work with us again, Bizzy Bear,” they’ll happily agree. For iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch; $3.99.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, assistant editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College.

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  1. I used this app last weekend with my two year old almost three granddaughter. She definitely enjoyed hte experience, but the big takeaway was on how the narrator says Bear. It’s quite Australian — and sounded to us like ‘bahr’ — very light on the ”r sound. We went around all weekend saying Bizzy Bahr, Bizzy Bahr.

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  1. […] Bizzy Bear Builds a House written and illus. by Benji Davies (Nosy Crow, 2012) Based on board book Bizzy Bear: Let’s Get to Work, this app invites toddlers to pitch in around a construction site, completing tasks such as digging a hole, piling sand, and unloading bricks. […]

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