We are big fans of Eileen Christelow’s Five Little Monkey series and I was very excited to hear that Oceanhouse Media has brought Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed to the App Store. The app preserves the original look and feel of the picture book while using Oceanhouse’s trademark style to update it with interaction.
The Five Little Monkeys are here, just as adorable as ever. Part of why I love this series is the illustrations. It’s hard not to root for these mischievous little monkeys, they’re just so darn cute. They sure do make trouble for their Mama but it’s hard to stay mad at them forever. The story is probably familiar to most everyone but in case it’s not, here is a summary. Five Little Monkeys are getting ready for bed. Their Mama tucks them in and says goodnight but when she leaves the room the monkeys start to jump on the bed. Sure enough, one falls off and bumps his head. The Mama phones the doctor and his professional opinion is that those monkeys need to stop their jumping, which it turns out is very hard for monkeys to do. The story counts down from five monkeys to one and ends with a funny twist that will be caught if you’re paying attention to the illustrations.
Oceanhouse provides three different versions of the story. The first is Read to Me. In this version a narrator tells the story while background music and sound effects play. If you tap on the words on the screen then you’ll be able to hear them repeated again. You can also tap on the illustrations to hear and see words telling you what they are. The second story version is Auto-Play. This is the same as Read to Me but the pages will turn by themselves. Finally you have the Read By Myself option. Here you won’t get narration but you will have the sound effects and music as well. You’ll still be able to tap on the text to hear words read aloud and tapping on illustrations brings up extra words. Go vocabulary building! I actually enjoyed the Read By Myself option the most because I was able to really catch all of the background extras. For example, on the screen where Mama calls the doctor there’s an entire monkey conversation that plays in the background. I didn’t notice it when the narrator read to me but it’s there and I found it extremely entertaining. You can totally hear the concern in Mama’s voice as theose monkeys fall off the bed one after another.
I truly hope this is just the beginning of more Five Little Monkeys storybook apps. My two favorite Eileen Christelow books are Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car and Five Little Money’s Play Hide and Seek. If Oceanhouse is taking suggestions then I would love to see those books in the App Store soon. They make my family smile and giggle and I’m willing to be we’re not the only ones.