A day at the zoo is always so much fun. In Spinlight’s beautiful new app, Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo, kids can read along the story of a lost coin’s day at a handmade zoo. Along the way, they will meet and play with various animals.
A Day at the Zoo
Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo is a rhyming tale that chronicles a lost coin’s adventure as it slid, rolled, and bounced through the enclosures of 12 different animals at the zoo. After Billy accidentally dropped his coin down the drain, it traveled through the pipes and into an alligator’s pen. Finding the coin inedible, the gator spat it out and it slid down a tall giraffe’s back.
From there on, the coin continued to visit different animals: a prairie dog, the turtles, a snake, an elephant, a toucan, a mouse, a lion, a kangaroo, the monkeys, and a seal. It eventually found its way back to Billy, who spends it on a toy.
Parents Need to Know
In this original tale from Spinlight, kids are expected to interact with the objects on screen to move the story forward. This always involves moving the coin from one place to another; for example, in the opening scene they drag the coin from Billy’s mother to his hand. What is interesting is that the interactions are turned off until after the narrator has finished reading the text, allowing kids to focus on the reading/listening first.
It should also be noted that the app does not allow skipping forward or backward in the story. Rather, kids are expected to follow along from beginning to end. As a reward, they will receive a different toy every time they finish the story.
Made for ages five and under, the app includes three narrator options: a male voice, a female voice, and no narration for independent reading. The narrated reading modes come with text highlighting, and you can tap on a text to have it read again. You can change the narrator option any time by tapping on the ribbon on the top of the screen.
Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo doesn’t require an Internet connection to play. It has no third-party ads and no in-app purchases. A “More Apps” section, which contains secured links to the developer’s other apps, may be accessed from the main screen. The app is currently available in English only.
Things I Like
I have always loved apps that incorporate handmade elements, but Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo is really well done. I really like the use of different fabrics and textures to create a sense of depth. What’s more, there are lots of little details that make the app a delight to use, for example, the way the animals’ eyes blink or follow the coin as you drag it across the screen. The sound effects are always on point, from the glinting and jingling of the coin to the squeaking of the mouse.
The app also has great replay value. At the end of story, Billy finds his coin and puts it into a toy vending machine, which then dispenses a zoo animal. You can read the story repeatedly to collect all the 12 of the animals featured in the story, plus fun facts for each animal.
Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo is an imaginative storybook that takes kids on a hands-on tour around a handmade zoo. It serves playful rhymes and delightful interactions that engage readers until the end, then rewards them with animal toys and fun facts. Recommended for ages 5 and under.
App was provided for our honest review.