Cat Doorman’s Little Red Wagon Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on February 6th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Cat Doorman’s Little Red Wagon is a lovely application for small children - part songbook, part open-ended adventure. This app will delight all ages including parents with the use of truly beautiful illustrations and cute, fun interactive moments.

This app brings the classic folk song “Little Red Wagon” to life as children help a girl dragging a little red wagon behind her to gather up foods for a picnic.

Pantomimed verses include visiting a bakery, dairy, garden and orchard, concluding with a delightfully offbeat picnic with the girl and her lovingly anthropomorphized animal guests devouring the food in a way that made me smile a great deal.

I am quite smitten with the look of this app, hand-painted by singer songwriter Cat Doorman, also known as Portland-based artist Julianna Bright.

Rich with colors and a nod to a vintage look, there is a lot to discover among these scenes that babies, toddlers and even their older siblings will delight in. There are many open-ended details one can explore as well as the more story-driven interactions such as dragging and dropping foods such as bread from the bakery, pulling apples from trees or beets from the ground and filling up the wagon to share with animal friends.

The musical element in this app is nice as well, as this traditional song is also sung by Doorman, complete with the sheet music seen at the bottom of the page that scrolls through as the song is played and sung, creating a songbook that those familiar with the music will enjoy for themselves as well as sharing with their children, allowing readers to also sing along karaoke-style.

It is nice that one can choose to have the band use only the piano to play this song as well as a full band and a guitar choice. I do wish that there were more options here, such as other instruments like a fiddle, heard faintly during the guitar selection, percussion or banjo, possibly mixing multiple instruments to hear the differences one can create.

If this app were to be judged as an early music app, there would be more that this app could offer children. I do think that the storybook aspect will be best appreciated by families with musical backgrounds as there is not a lot to explain regarding what is being seen in terms of how the sheet music corresponds to the song being sung. I prefer to look at this app as a sweetly sung folk song with wonderful art and interactions as these elements are top-notch.

As for the song itself, all well as the art included within, this app contains a certain timelessness that will appeal many different parents including those interesting in home schooling and others still on the fence about sharing technology with their children, and for these reasons, I can recommend Cat Doorman’s Little Red Wagon.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Cat Doorman's Little Red Wagon screenshot 1 Cat Doorman's Little Red Wagon screenshot 2 Cat Doorman's Little Red Wagon screenshot 3 Cat Doorman's Little Red Wagon screenshot 4 Cat Doorman's Little Red Wagon screenshot 5
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