Review by Mary and Marica
Prancing, Dancing Lily is a universal book app and is based on a print book of the same name, written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by John Manders. Marsha is the award-winning author of eleven children’s picture books. Prancing, Dancing Lily is inspired by Marsha’s own childhood as she grew up on a farm with Ayrshire cows like Lily. The app also includes a puzzle section, and a scene selector that allows you to easily re-visit favorite pages. It contains no adverts or in-app purchases.
The story starts with an orderly herd of cows marching in for milking time, all except for Lily that is. Lily instead dances and prances about the pasture – which doesn’t sit right with the others. Lily’s Mamoo Rose and Grandmoo Iris were award winning lead bell cows, and soon it was to be Lily’s turn to lead the herd. However, Lily knows she just doesn’t fit in, and sets off to find her perfect dance and a place that feels right. Throughout her adventures, Lily writes lovely rhyming letters back to the herd (complete with her signature). She explores a variety of dancing styles and cultures, dancing her way around the world. Lily misses home and the herd, but she finally finds her perfect dance and a true home.
The book has appealing illustrations and interactive features that delight the eyes and ears. Children can make Lily dance and twirl, help Lily to fax the heard and tap their own beat on the drum, just to name a few. It’s a little tricky to figure out the hot spots for these interactive features, but it doesn’t take long for little ones (4 and up) to find them all – and what a surprise when they do find them! Page turning is via either tapping on a hoof print or page swiping, we’d like to see an option to switch off the swiping as sometimes children looking for interactive elements can accidentally trigger this. The app has animation, sound effects and music. With the ‘read by myself’ option you can still have the sound effects and music on as you read, which makes it more appealing to read and perhaps easier to imitate voice inflections and natural pauses during reading (a great learning tool for young readers). The app also includes a puzzle game with three difficulty levels and the option of 6, 12, or 24 pieces. The puzzle pieces don’t snap into place until placed exactly in the correct position and little give in this area (even just 1/8”) would make it less frustrating for little fingers. The puzzle feature is geared more towards 6-9 year olds than the younger crowd. The app includes links to Fat Red Couch Website and the authors website, where there is a worksheet of extension activities. The worksheet is very useful but we would like the links childproofed to prevent children accidentally exiting the app.
Overall, Prancing Dancing Lily is a delightful story about keeping true to yourself and finding ways to share your special talent. We liked the fact that a variety of actors were used to give each character it’s own unique voice; and the sound effects, music and animations really helped to bring the story to life. The story also leads to some nice family discussions about fitting in and being true to yourself. The illustrations in this app really have the feel of a print book that has come to life and Lily (literally) dances right out of the book. Recommended for ages 4-9 years.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.