Broadway Barks Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on September 12th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Broadway Barks is a lovely interactive story, written, narrated and sung by Tony-winning actress Bernadette Peters, based on the previously published children’s book with CD of the same name. Versions for both iPhone as well as iPad are available.

This is a cute and charming story of a dog who no longer has a home and is all alone in the park until he is discovered and given a chance to be seen at Broadway Barks - a charity event in New York City to promote the adoption of animal, ultimately finding a new home.

As one may expect, Peters does a terrific job giving this dog, formerly known as Douglass, a voice both very human but also dog-like in a way that makes me smile, making him an utterly sympathetic character that children and their adults will root for. The illustrations are also quite nice, colorful and quite pleasing to the eye, as are the animated moments and interactive elements marked with glowing orbs show where to tap.

Before reading this book, I did not know of Broadway Barks, the real life event this book is based on, bringing this event as well as the plight of animals waiting to be adopted to the minds of readers in a way that is thoughtful and warm. I also appreciate the level of suspense from this dog’s point of view, becoming nervous when about to go on stage, as well as the moments right after when he believes he will remain unloved and unwanted.

Fortunately, this story ends on a wonderful and warm note, but the early self-deprecating dialogue may be hard for some sensitive children to hear - like my son who would not respond well to the sad plight of dogs, even though ending on a happy note.

Having said this, this would be a great book for all but the most sensitive of children.

This application also includes a very nice song sung by Peters based on this story and includes a montage of images from this tale stylized to look like a movie with the hint of distressed film, also including a backdrop reminiscent of a drive-in movie to create a serene video of sorts that children will find very relaxing.

Showtime is also a section where one can dress the dog, now known by his adopted name, Kramer and animate him with a dance with the drag of a finger.

Auto play is an option. Here instead of turning pages automatically, it makes the pages of this book flow seamlessly like a video of sorts but without the interactions found in the “Read to Me” section.

I also like how this book offers more information about Broadway Barks, Bernadette Peters herself and illustrator Liz Murphy.

Broadway Barks is an easy application to recommend with all the elements of this story working well together to create a musical tale animal lovers of all ages will be smitten by.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

BroadwayBarks screenshot 1 BroadwayBarks screenshot 2 BroadwayBarks screenshot 3 BroadwayBarks screenshot 4 BroadwayBarks screenshot 5
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