My beautiful niece Naira has just begun to learn how to read and already, like so many other kids of her generation, has mastered the full inner workings of her mother’s iPhone and iPad. With this somewhat terrifying new skill, Naira is now able to use e-books and other interactive games that save on space, waste and, most importantly when you’re a new parent, money. That’s why when I heard about Sam Plays Saxophone, a fun and interactive storybook app adaptation from Cathy Lane Studios, I knew I had to check it out.
The story itself is a pretty novel one: you join Sam the musical squirrel on his journey to find jazz musicians to help him play his song. Over the course of the book you’ll see Sam face fierce ocean storms, wild deserts and venomous snakes whilst picking up new friends along the way and as the story unfolds you get to hear the individual sounds of each of the instruments: saxophone, keyboard, drums, trumpet, double bass (it’s all about that bass, no treble!!) and guitar.
The unique tail (pun!) is written in rhyme and includes original music that has been especially composed for the app. The interactive points scattered throughout the book allow you to get involved in the excitement of the journey; you’ll learn about musical composition and how the different sounds of the instruments come together to form a band.
All the pages feature adorable hand-made paper sculpture illustrations and the tap and drag interface glides you seamlessly through the story. You’ll have the choice of whether you would like to have a full narration of the story with the fun voice-over characters that are available or if you would prefer to read alone. The lines of the story are highlighted on each page helping you to keep track of the rhythm and the animated characters in the background keep the story fun and engaging.
For just $3.99 Sam Plays Saxophone is a great little app that not only provides enjoyment but also allows a child to learn more and more as they grow.