Reviewed by Alison
Boats by Byron Barton, Oceanhouse Media and Harper Collins is an app after my own heart. The universal app allows children to interact with a variety of different boats including rowboats, ferryboats, fishing boats to my personal favorite the sailboat all of which can be moved and interacted with using your finger. Realistic sound effects and beautiful illustrations delight children and engage them to learn more about the boats in the story. The app features “read it to me”, “read it to myself” and autoplay settings. Both the autoplay and “read it to me” settings feature narration and word highlighting to help the youngest readers follow along with the story. In addition, each scene of the book has it’s own unique audio to coordinate with the story.
As a boat lover, I just really liked this book. It was a realistic way to introduce my four year old to a variety of different boats and tell him a little bit about what each type of boat did. He really enjoyed interacting with each of the scenes and playing with the various boats. He is an early reader and enjoyed sitting down and playing with the book himself while hearing the soundtrack – and I have frequently heard this app played.
In terms of improvements, I wish there was a way to make the ocean or water “splash” when you move around the boats. We enjoyed playing with the fire boat and wished there was a way to put out the fire versus just turning the next page.
If you have a child who enjoys a variety of boats, this app is a great one to provide that introduction. In addition to reading the text we made up our own stories about each of the boats and what they were doing during the story. We also recently reviewed another title in this series, Planes which has similar attributes to this one just uses planes instead of boats. This app is best suited for children aged two to six who love all things related to transportation.
Category: Kids Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Cost: $1.99 US (10.1 MB)
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