Barnyard Dance is a charming and lovely interactive storybook app based on the board book of the same name by author and illustrator Sandra Boynton, one of series of apps by Loud Crow Interactive that have brought these most popular Boyton books to life.
Barnyard Dance is a really fun tale about animals that square dance, written in a fun, simple rhyme reminiscent of square dancing calls. As is the style of Boynton, these pages are filled with wonderfully whimsical anthropomorphic animals with a drawing style that is all utterly her own, and short bursts of text that are easy to read and appreciate both by adults as well as children.
It is marvelous how spot-on the apps within this series look when compared to the board books they are trying to re-create here. I love how faithful to Boynton’s work this app is while still adding wonderful elements not found in printed media, such as these animals moving off the pages altogether and other creative ways both to stay true to and also to make these stories new experiences at the same time
Do tap about each of these creatures to see them bounce or move like one would expect from a classic pop-up book, and I appreciate the physics engine in use here, allowing animals to be spring-loaded, reacting the way one would expect with the tap or flick of a finger and it is lovely how these animals don’t just bounce about but how their facial expressions change as if bowing - an important part of square dancing.
I too am a fan of Boynton and own a copy of this board book myself. I enjoy reading this book out loud, but my narration is not even close to that of the “big guy” chosen to narrate this story, as musician John Stey takes full advantage of the rhyming cadence found both in this book and in traditional square dancing without being over the top. It is also delightful how bluegrass music has been incorporated into this story for added richness that could not be achieved by simply reading this book out loud.
It is very nice that not only does one have the ability to read this app on one’s own or with the aid of narration, but it is also a treat for new readers that each word when tapped is read individually. I also like how one can customize the music volume as well, but it would be nice that when the music is turned all the way down, the music is off - not simply hushed, as one may want the opportunity to read this book without music as well.
I highly recommend this app not just for Boynton fans but for anyone who is looking for a very cute, interactive app with a simple, delightful story. The pithy use of text would also make this a nice beginner reader that kids would be engaged by, re-reading again and again.