Achoo Gaboo is a universal app for iOS and is created by a company called ‘Pixure Book Publishing‘ and illustrations by Timothy Banks. They make educational and imaginative reading apps for children of pre-school age.
My 19 month old daughter is so engaged when I play this storybook app to her. It took about 4 attempts at playing it before she first sat down long enough to follow the story. After this her interest in it grew. I liked the app as soon as I played it from start to finish myself as the music was fun,
the sotry was imaginative, and the graphics were vibrant. Even with my old and clunky iPad and the movements were smooth and the colours really popped out. I liked that there were various ways to interact such as tapping to pop bubbles, sliding right to left to turn to the next page and
tapping in certain pages to move on. I found that I could play it over and over to myself and not get bored. My daughter very much likes books and I’d even go so far as to say she likes books better than toys. This app ticked the boxes in terms of being very engaging even though it took a little while to get her to sit down with it.
If I’m honest I think that at 19 months, my daughter is a little too young to fully grasp the interactive features. She loved the fact that I could pop
the bubbles and the highs and lows of the song but she was cautious that sometimes it got loud when Gaboo sneezed like a trumpet. She kept her distance from the iPad during those times, only touching it once or twice after being prompted. Although she’ll now sit through the whole story, concentrating and soaking it all up, she’s been quite reluctant to interact with it any further. Possibly in another 6-12 months when her speech is a little more developed she can tell me why she’s hesitant of it. The book was very blue as a colour palette and although I don’t mind, I felt maybe it may appeal more to boys. It wasn’t a soft and cuddly type of book with cuddly characters; cute and bubbly – yes, but not particularly cuddly. My daughter is a girly girl even though I make no attempts to encourage her to be like that. Possible the colours could be softened a little more in the colour palette and that would help make the story more appealing to her.
The monkey in the app was sad at the point when Gaboo couldn’t shake his hiccups and it made my daughter a little sad. I’d love it if the monkey didn’t look so fed up and if Gaboo was generally happier. It would be nice to have a more upbeat story but the same level of interaction possible. Although in saying this I think it is generally just a happy book.
I shouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did but as a big kid myself, I really got into it. It is aimed at 2-5 year olds and maybe at around 2 or 2.5 years old, my daughter will be more curious and more interested in the activities. I also really enjoyed the illustrations! Great job Pixure Book Publishing and great job to Timothy Banks for the illustrations (I love to paint and can appreciate all the intricate detail in the graphics).
Overall, it’s a great app; it’s short enough to keep the attention of a child, whilst having enough interactivity to keep them coming back. I’ll be showing it to my 6 year old niece as I think she’s a bit more tech-savvy and so will love the interaction. I would definitely purchase an app like this as long as it’s sold at a reasonable price (which this is).