Bus to Booville is a cute and fun Halloween story that children will enjoy. Both iPhone as well as iPad versions are available.
Illustrated with collages containing photo elements of children dressed up in creepy costumes, this is the simple story of a bus driver scared of the costumed children whom he picks up on his route.
Written in rhyme and including the counting elements of the climbing aboard of one skeleton, two ghosts and three witches, this is a tale suitable for babies, toddlers and young preschool children.
Although these children are dressed up in spooky costumes, and Halloween sound effects as well as other noises can be heard with the tap of audio hotspots, this app never ventures into truly scary territory, making the pantomimes of the driver, afraid of these children, all the more silly.
Each of these pages will scan slightly to the right where one will find the included text - narrated when accessed. This is an effective way to tell this story, but children may enjoy scrolling back to see the illustrations while listening, which is not possible as the scrolling silences the narration. I would like to be able to look back at the other side of this spread while still listening to the tale if at all possible.
I do like, however, the surprise ending where the driver removes his disguise, revealing that his is in fact an alien himself as he tags along to the Halloween party the kids are going to.
Although narration is included in this app, so is the chance to make one’s own recording as well as to personalize the text of this story if one sees fit, allowing older children to add their own take on this story as well.
Extras are included, such as a matching game where one flips over tiles in order to make pairs as well as a Spot the Difference section.
While the matching game includes a hint which narrows the choices of tiles one needs to flip over to make a match, I did find the Spot the Difference rather difficult at times, especially for the age level that will get the most out of this story. Hints are included here as well but are more vague than I would like. It would be nice if in the future, the hints could zoom in to the exact location of the difference if additional help is needed.
Having said this, Bus to Booville is a cute adaptation of the book of the same name. I enjoy the ending, with a nice twist that remains utterly child-friendly.