My kids ask me if they can download new apps to my iPad every day, and I almost always say no. I hate to give up my precious memory space for the junky, ad-filled apps that appeal to them, but that I’d really rather they not play in the first place. So when I find a simple app with a nice storyline and great art, like the new Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo by SpinlightI’m more than happy to bend the rules.

Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo is a narrated read-along story about a coin that falls from Billy’s hand when he enters the zoo. It rolls its way through different animal enclosures and finally back to Billy’s hand, where he uses it to buy a toy.

Each time you make it through the app, Billy wins a different toy from the machine. Each is a mini zoo animal, with a fun fact about each one, like mice are really clean or kangaroos can jump very high. Kids love that they can return to this page to re-read the simple facts about all the animals that they accumulate.

In Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo, you follow the coin to visit different animals.

Drag the coin to interact with the monkeys in the Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo app.

Collect animals and facts in the Billy's Coin Visits the Zoo app.
One thing we’re picky about with the apps we share is how they look, and this one is so special. The art is handcrafted from fabric, and it makes me feel like I’m flipping pages in a real book with my child — even though the words are lighting up as they’re read out loud, and we’re using our fingers to drag a coin along each screen.

These handmade, personal touches are a great way to make tech feel natural and relatable for kids and can’t wait to see more of it.

You can download Billy’s Coin Visits the Zoo for your iPad or iPhone for $1.99. Our preschoolers give it two thumbs up (when they’re not sucking one of them).