My house is filled with readers. If it’s made of paper, we’ll probably read it. So it may seem strange that I’m very excited about a brand new interactive book app. But once you see the new City Nights app for iPad from Tidepool Publishing, I think other book lovers will join in my excitement, too.

There’s something special about this simple book app. It’s calm. It’s quiet. And it had my two youngest children, ages 4 and 7, mesmerized from start to finish.

The City Nights app, written by Christy Goerzen, explores the sounds of a busy city as night falls and everyone goes to sleep. Shop shutters moan, street lights flare, kids run home from the park. It’s all very soothing. Anyone familiar with the book Night Cars (a book I’ve read at many, many bedtimes over the years) will find welcome similarities in the soporific tone and style of City Nights.

The City Nights app tells a soothing interactive bedtime story

The paper collage illustrations by Natalia Morley Russell bump up the cool quotient, and the animation is simple, yet alluring. One page was particularly enchanting to my kids, who spent ages drawing their fingers across the screen to create traveling light flares like shooting stars in an evening park scene.

A little caveat: Don’t expect bells and whistles, or fireworks and explosions. This app is gentle and soothing. And, though I never thought I’d say this about an app, it was just like reading a real book. A wonderfully written, beautifully illustrated, lovingly created real book.

Download the City Nights app, available on the App Store for $3.49, and prepare for a calmer, quieter child. Seriously. Plus, there’s no ads or in-app purchases to get in the way of enjoying this delightful book.