Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo is a rhyming book app about a lost coin's adventure in a zoo as it rolls through 12 animals' enclosures. After Billy accidentally drops his gold coin down a grate at the zoo, the coin rolls into the alligator's pen. Finding the coin uneatable, the gator spits it out and it lands in a tree overlooking the giraffe enclosure. From there the coin rolls down the giraffe's neck to land in the prairie dog's tunnel. The story continues with the coin miraculously finding its way to visit the turtles, an elephant, monkeys, a cobra, a toucan, a mouse, a lion, a kangaroo, and a seal. Eventually, the coin makes it back to Billy.
How Kids Interact with this Book App
Kids move the story forward by controlling the coin. The narration is heard and seen -- with words highlighting as read -- and then it is time for kids to get in on the action. When they touch the coin, it adheres to their finger, so they can drag it to the relevant part of the screen.
For example, with the monkeys, who are hanging from the top of the scene, kids need to get the coin to the monkey on the right so that he can toss it to his buddies to make it bounce across the screen.
What Makes This App Great
Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo is one of those rare apps that brings together all the right elements to earn our top rating of 5 stars.
The idea of following the path of a lost coin through a zoo tickles kids' imaginations. Developer Spinlight heightens this fun story by adding exciting rhyming text and then offering two talented narrators -- one female and one male -- to read it to the kids.
The app doesn't allow any interaction until after the story has been spoken, thus allowing kids to listen before interacting with the story. This listening becomes important since, instead of turning the page, kids move the story forward by doing the action called for in the narration. They will slide the coin down the giraffe's neck, and bounce it into the pouch of a baby kangaroo. When children let go of the coin, they are rewarded with playful animations such as the coin ping-ponging off of the turtles' backs.
Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo displays unique illustrations to pull kids into the story. The reader only sees little Billy's legs and hands, so that they focus on the coin (which sparkles). And all of the illustrations are made out of sewn fabrics, so the app has a crafty vibe. Billy's baggy fabric knees are hilarious, while the sweater-sleeve trunk of the elephant is inventive.
Layered on top of these carefully constructed elements are whimsical details such as having the characters' eyes blink or spin and their heads follow the movement of the coin. Also good are the sounds kids hear, from the trumpeting of the elephant to the pinging, twanging, and spinning of the coin.
The app has great replayability because, at the end when Billy finds his coin, he uses it in a gumball-like machine that dispenses small containers filled with zoo animals. By exploring the story repeatedly, players can collect all 12 of the animals featured in the story (and hear a fun fact too). Nice!
The Bottom Line
Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo delivers a lively animal romp filled with clever rhymes, crafty illustrations, and sassy interactions. You will want to take your child on this trip to the zoo!
Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo is a great app for all preschoolers. It is a fun way to introduce children to the animals found in a zoo. Toddlers will also enjoy this read, but they may need some help moving the coin to the right locations on the screen.
This Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.