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Barnyard Mystery

February 7, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

A fun adventure, personalized with your child's name ...

Are you looking for a digital picture book that allows your child to 'choose their own adventure' with a story that is different every time you read? Or maybe one that includes your child's name, too? Well, look no further than this delightful new app that tells the story of a family visiting a farm. The family (which includes your child if you enter their name on the title page) is asked to help Farmer Bill find a cute baby chick that has gotten lost. The search takes them all over the farm, with each change in location prompting a decision by the reader.

I'm not sure how many different story combinations there are for this title, but it was a slightly different story every time I read it with my child ... the chick can be 'found' in several different locations and the story is a different lenghth depending on the choices the reader makes. A very small extra is hidden on the page with the house, touch the papers scattered in the yard to launch a simple matching game using images from the book.

While this is a great title and very solidly built overall, it would be very nice to see the addition of a page guide and home button, since there is no way to restart the book except from the final page. The narration is great, too, with a crisp British accent, however I would love to see highlighting as it is read added for young children learning to read. The text is also in a rather small and stylized font that could be difficult for some early readers. There is also no page turn really, instead you tap the text several times on each page to get more of the story (illustration stays the same) until prompted to change locations for the search.

Overall, this title is really lovely, with a fun storyline and simple but adorable illustrations. The chance to have the story be a bit different every time it's read was a big hit with my child. He also loved seeing his name in the story. These features make this a title so unique, it would be worth a download even if the story wasn't so well-crafted. Thankfully, all of the elements that make a book app engaging are present, including a nice interface and polished storytelling. Highly recommended.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Barnyard Mystery

February 7, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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mi books

Hamson Design Group Pty Ltd

Length (time):
8 - 10 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 6

English •

Length (pages):
12 Pages


Story Synopsis - Barnyard Mystery

One day a family (mother, father, brother, sister) are heading out for an adventure ... on a trip to see Farmer Bill. When they arrive at the farm, they get distressing news ... no one can find the littlest chicken ... a baby chick is lost!

The family agrees to help Farmer Bill by searching the whole farm for the tiny creature. The reader can then choose to go to the orchard or the barn to look. In the orchard, the family sees many apples and an owl. The wise owl tells them that the chick was once among the apple trees but has moved on.

At the barn, the family searches in the hay and discovers a cat playing with yarn. The cat says there has been no small bird about, however the horse pipes up and tells them that the chick was in the barn but then rushed off into 'the brush'.

At the chicken coop they find the chickens quite upset, but no sign of the baby. So onto the pond the family goes, asking the creatures there if they have seen a baby chick. No one has seen anything, although a fly has told them that the chicken may be near the pigs.

At the pig pen, the family finds the baby chick before heading home. [This is only one possibly version of this 'choose your own adventure story ... additional places to search include, the house, the tractor, the sheep's 'paddock', the pond, etc.]


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Instructions, Read to Me, Read Myself, Info w/Link to: Web

App Release Date:


Size: 11.13 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



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