Dr Seuss's Sleep Book is a classic Dr. Seuss title, now a universal app released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this delightful tale of a contagious yawn that spreads through this fantastical world created by Dr Seuss, including unique creatures and whimsical tangents that could only come from the mind of Theodor Geisel.
Few titles are as deserving of being adapted into an application as The Sleep Book, allowing parents to lie back and listen alongside their child to this highly popular story. I do love this intricate sleepy tale myself, but I have always been self conscious of my ability to read Dr. Seuss out loud effectively.
I find reading Dr Seuss's Sleep Book is even more challenging for me - especially because yawning is really contagious, and it takes me only a few pages of reading about and seeing images of Seussian characters behaving sleepily that I feel too tired to continue and much prefer to hear this story read out loud than doing the reading myself.
As with the other Dr. Seuss titles as well as other storybooks developed by Oceanhouse Media, the original illustrations included within are lovely, with the zooming and panning of these images to focus the attention on readers as well as allowing one to see details. Narration is included if one would like this book read out loud, or one can read this story by oneself. New readers will also appreciate that individual words as well as paragraphs can be tapped to be heard without listening directly to the narration, especially with the pronunciation of the newly created words and species names that Dr. Seuss is known for.
I also really appreciate that these Dr Seuss apps as well as the Oceanhouse Media apps in general can be enjoyed on Auto Play, making these pages turn on their own, allowing one to simply listen to these stories being narrated without the need to turn the pages, allowing one to close one's eyes and drift off.
It is true that while the illustrations of Seuss books are part of the draw, but we do sometimes enjoy listening to these stories, as here wonderful sound effects are included that bring a richness that make the experience something different from reading these books out loud.
Dr Seuss's Sleep Books include plenty of snoring sounds, purring-like sleepy sounds and other soft noises, plus other effects so relaxing that children could easily fall asleep before this lengthy title is finished.
Because of this, it would be nice if a menu of sorts were available to scroll through these pages to pick up where one has left off - a function not currently offered within this series of apps. It good to know, however, that readers can still find their place by exiting this app without properly closing it, allowing this app to be re-opened at the same spot later on.
It is also worth noting that not all storybook apps can be put down to simply be listened to, as some will stop functioning when the screen is not touched for while. Not being really technical myself, I don’t know why one can let the Oceanhouse Media apps play through without being automatically turned off by themselves, but this element is something I appreciate and do not take for granted.
I would also like to report that narrator David Price - new to Oceanhouse Media applications, does a great job of being relaxing and includes a wonderfully understandable cadence while reading Dr. Seuss - no easy task. I believe that along with fellow narrator, John Bell, Oceanhouse Media has found its sweet spot in finding the perfect radio voices for their narrations. I hope they continue the good work as the talent behind a narrated storybook can make or break the project.
It has been my pleasure to see Dr Seuss's Sleep Book developed into an application, and I hope Oceanhouse Media continues to adapt the other Seuss titles as well.
It would be nice, however, if the illustrations and message found within the cover of Dr Seuss's Sleep Book - “This book is to be read in bed" - was also included, possibly on the main menu page of this app, as this illustrated message to fans of Dr. Seuss is an important detail not to be forgotten.