Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Jungle app review

flip flap jungle titleA companion to Axel Scheffler’s flip book of the same name, Flip Flap Jungle (Nosy Crow, 2015; iOS only) allows you to create seemingly infinite animals by combining the top half of one and the bottom half of another.

Want to see what a parakeet might look like with four furry legs? Swipe the bottom of the brightly colored, inviting illustration or its corresponding text until you find just the legs you’re looking for. (The leopard’s legs make for a particularly striking combination — the parakard.) Want to give those leopard legs a new upper-body look? Just slide the top portion of the screen. (The monkard, with its leopard legs and monkey tail, looks like it could get into all sorts of mischief.) Tap the animals to hear their noises; if you tap both halves, you’ll get both noises at once. (My favorite sound combination comes from the armog — half armadillo, half frog.)

Each animal comes with two stanzas of well-rhymed text, one for each of its halves, so each new animal creation narrates a unique poem. The goreet's (gorilla/parakeet) poem talks about its muscly chest and the feathers it likes to clean; the antog's (anteater/frog) tells about its furry snout and its toes with sticky suckers.

flip flap parakard  flip flap antog
The "Read and Play” mode features narration with text highlighting, while “Read by Myself” allows you to read independently at your own pace. Both options have background music catchy enough that I was bopping along at my desk.

The best thing about this app is the chance to be creative and silly. Make a leopilla (leopard/gorilla)! A touceleon (toucan/chameleon)! A fradillo (frog/armadillo)! The world is your oyster — and if this app included an oyster, you could turn it into an oystupine. While you’re at it, you might just learn some animal facts and practice your reading, too.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 7.0 or later); $0.99. Recommended for preschool and primary users. Don't miss Flip Flap Farm.
Shoshana Flax
Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine, is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She is a current member of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award committee, and has served on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

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