Zuko Monsters – Goodbeans GmbH isn’t really a learning app at all, but rather a fun pokemon type role playing game. The story is well drawn and the game is sufficiently challenging for children 6 years and older.
The basic idea of Zuko Monsters – Goodbeans GmbH is that you are given the chance to fight the monsters who are the bad guys. You get to fight and capture using various little monsters who you need to keep healthy and grow their skills and abilities. You have certain tasks you need to accomplish and levels that you can pass.
The fun is in the challenges and the quest. My six year old thinks the game is awesome as does my 12 year old. Fun? Yep? What do they learn? Some money management, some math, and some critical thinking.
The only caution I would give parents is there is the ability to buy credits in this app. Up to $99 at a time! Be sure to immediately require a passcode for in app purchases within your iOS device to be safe.
Loud Crow Interactive does an amazing job of bringing stories to life. It is as if the cartoon version of the story is melded with the book and made into an interactive story book movie on the iPad. It really is magical when you see your four year old engaged with Charlie Brown and friends just like you probably were 20, 30, 40? years ago! It is worth it. Believe me.
A Charlie Brown Christmas By Loud Crow Interactive Inc. retains the classic feel of Charlie Brown while taking advantage of the touch screen, gyroscopes, display, and processor power of the iPad. You can read a long with the book or have the volume turned off and read it all by yourself. The characters move, the snowflakes pop, and you can repeat paragraphs or single words if you want.
This is a fun to read book and you could use it as a reading reinforcement book, but it is not something I would consider a learning to read book. The words are just a bit too small. The story and graphics stand out, but it isn’t something I would use to teach my 3-4 year old to read with. That is just fine! I just wanted to point it out.
Attention – 5
Fun – 4
Learning – 3
Total – 12
There is no question you should be downloading this app right as you read this. Here is a link to make it easier:
We all remember the books with flaps as kids. By the time I got a hold of a book with this hidden gems they were all very well worn and easy to notice, some were ripped right off in fact. That is hard to do with the iPad version of these books. The flaps are a fun addition to the story and usually hide something silly and funny.
It looks like the Big Grips iPad Frame is sold out! We love that iPad frame and hope that as you read this you already picked yours up or have one on order for Christmas. Check the other colors if Pink is out of stock. It is a no brainer. Buy the Big Grips iPad Frame.
Of course The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media has the usual outstanding images, narration, and story of all Oceanhouse books, but this time with an engaging story that I was not familiar with. I suppose I could have chosen the read it myself option and explored the book before I presented it to my four year old, but together we got lost in the story of the toy factory, the orphans, and the few antagonists.
The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media is another book from Oceanhouse that you can choose to sit down and explore with your child, read it to them, have it read to them while they choose to turn the pages, or in “back seat mode” as I call it, you can have it self play. Together with a nice iPad Frame/case/stand like the Big Grips iPad Frame the “back seat mode” could be used to fall asleep to.
Can your child learn to read with The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media? Perhaps not. But they can learn to LOVE to read. One of the benefits of reading a book to your child is that they learn the style of reading, the cadence, the pace, the stopping points, and the narration is key. You get all of the various forms of reading styles with this and many of the books from Oceanhouse Media.
Attention – 5
Fun – 3 (it is a book!)
Learning – 3 (there are some lessons in this book that are clearer to me)
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss By Oceanhouse Media is another great book/app from Oceanhouse Media. This book is not my daughter’s favorite since it is sort of dark and scary, but it is still a very good book and some kids like different things. The book is well written and narrated in a man’s voice. Almost that of the Grinch himself!
The animations and drawings are done in a typical Dr. Seuss style, but with less color. I almost felt like I had downloaded a copy of the book before it was sent overseas to be colored I bet that is not the case and instead is meant to match the overall style of the original.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss By Oceanhouse Media is a classic Christmas book, story, movie, and now app. Just having the book to enjoy on a cold winter night makes the purchase worth it. I haven’t given it a try, but showing the app on a flat screen with the whole family via HDMI might make for some new traidtions!
Fun – 2 (it is a book)
Attention – 4
Learning – 3
Total – 9
Of course we watch the whole book in the best frame we have found for the iPad2 – the Big Grips iPad Frame. We love the case. Just yesterday (when the video below was recorded) our four year old was walking into the kitchen with the iPad in her case as it always is. She hit the doggy gate and nearly dropped the iPad! If not for the awesome grip the Frame provides the iPad would have been on the ground. We have a tile floor and without the case it would certainly have dented the iPad at least. I bet with the case it would not have even mattered.
Leo The Lightening Bug by Eric Drachman is a very nice book made app. The story of Leo the Lightening Bug is a very popular children’s book and it makes for a great app. The story itself is one of triumph and something a lot of kids will be able to associate with. From laughing at the misfortune of others to overcoming your fears and worries.
The graphics are very well done and the animations, although very simple, are appropriately used. The voices of the characters caught the attention of my four year old very quickly and made the book interesting. More interesting than I could have made it dare I say.
Will my four year old read this book more than once? I am confident she will read it many times in the coming years. How long does it last? Perhaps 10-12 minutes at a time, which is the perfect time span for a four to five year old’s attention. If she makes it five minutes into the book, that is fine too.
Attention – 5
Fun – 3
Learning – 3 (it is not a learning book)
Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo is a fun app for kids, probably girls, who like to talk about fairies, decorate their bedroom, and draw rainbows. The storybook app is one you will need to read to your child (oh no!), but the games will have them playing for hours.
My four year old really got into the story even though she had heard me read it before. Given that it had been a few weeks since she last heard the story it could be she had forgotten or that it is just that interesting to her. I hadn’t realized she had found the “sticker” app within the book and that she knew she could draw rainbows too! On the regular reading pages of the book the elements on the page can be moved around too! So while you are reading you can ask your child to interact with each “page” in the book. Awesome.
Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo is one of those story books that adds just a little more so that your child can spend a little more time in the app and it makes the characters more familiar too.
Princess Rainbow By Victor Bravo doesn’t have the best graphics of any book we have seen, but my four year old didn’t seem to care. The Princess and fairies made the story interesting to her and the decorating game sealed the deal.
Have fun while killing germs, repairing bones, clearing up a red eye, and more. My four year old has played with this app for HOURS so far. In the past few days she has spent more time with this app than any other. Over and over again she fixes the bones, plugs the nose, applies bandages to the scrapes. She is really having fun.
Does it teach anything? Sure it does. Perhaps some responsibility and cleanliness. It also makes the breaks and scrapes seem less scary. It is a fun and engaging app.
Transports by Editions First-Gründ is a simple game my daughter really enjoys. She is four and loves to color. This app lets her explore different “transports” and interact with the items by coloring, counting, and hearing the sounds they make. The interface is easy to navigate and your child can learn more about the item on the screen by clicking panel.
I was afraid that she was not going to get the hang of the panel in the upper left corner but she took to it quickly. This is the second app of this kind and it works well. A simple interface that keeps your child interested for a good period of time. Is your child going to learn numbers or letters from this app? Probably not, but the fun coloring and learning about the different transports is worthwhile.