Subscribe to The Horn Book

Goodnight Safari app review

In Goodnight Safari (2012), a cozy bedtime storybook app from Polk Street Press, users propel the narrative forward by helping wildlife from the African savanna prepare for lights out. Once basic touchscreen activities, such as reuniting a baby zebra with its mother or dunking a baby rhino in a pool of cool water for a bath, have been completed, an arrow appears at the bottom of the screen to indicate that it’s time to move on to the next page. But feel free to poke around anyway — extra animations and sounds are hidden throughout. My favorite Easter egg is a butterfly animation on the zebra page. I stopped to play with it for several minutes. Try it!

Luciana Navarro Powell’s collage-style art adds depth and texture to this simple interactive story.  Each furry creature appears to be cut from fabric, giving the cuddly characters a stuffed-animal quality. Soft colors and a background of nighttime sounds (i.e. crickets chirping) enhance the soporific effect.

The app includes “read to me” and “read myself” features, though the read myself option is better suited for parents reading to their children. Newly independent readers will likely find the content facile. Additionally, a “pick a page” option will cater to repeat readers who wish to play certain activities more than once.

While the app itself has been out since 2012, Goodnight Safari Playtime ($1.99), a collection of supplemental activities to practice colors, counting, etc., has been recently released as an in-app purchase with parent lock.

Activities aside, this sleepy story induces a quiet stillness, perfect whether you’re winding down for the evening or relaxing for a midday nap.

Available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (requires iOS 4.3 or later); free. Recommended for preschool users.

Shara Hardeson About Shara Hardeson

Shara Hardeson is a former editorial assistant at The Horn Book Guide.



  1. Goodnight safari seems like a great book to have on an ipad or iopd for young children to read. and they can also play games which is a great way to learn to read. I thing this is a great blog. very creative

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind