Reviewed by Mary
Ice Cream Monsters is an iPad only app, and the first children’s book app from author Erik X. Raj. There are read it to me and read it myself options, but no word highlighting. The story is set on Planet Yummy where all the inhabitants are ice cream monsters. The title page opens with a rather catchy song about the Ice Cream Monsters. On the first page you get a space level view of Amazing Yummy and get to move a rocket ship around and play with the planets. The rest of the story is set on Amazing Yummy itself and focuses on the Ice Cream Monsters (who are friendly looking monsters as they look just like ice cream !)
The over-riding theme of the story is that all the ice cream monsters are different from one another but they still love to play together. Each page highlights their differences – spoon or no spoon, cherry on top or not, hot fudge and marshmallows or not, two scoops or three, different flavors, but reinforces the message that no matter how different they are they are still friends and still play together. The app has some fun interactive elements – you can change the ice cream flavors or number of scoops, have them play tennis together or push a swing, the monsters giggle and laugh when touched too. My kids enjoyed changing the ice creams flavors and toppings.
This is a cute little book that works on the message that we should all accept each others differences and be friends anyhow. As such, it can be a useful tool for helping children with the concept of diversity and being friends children who are different from themselves. Parents could further reinforce this by discussing the story and comparing to real life examples e.g. one monster has a spoon another doesn’t, just like Johnny has braces on his leg and you don’t. The text is simple and repeats a lot – making it good for beginning readers as there are not a lot of new words on each page. I would like to see word highlighting as it is read added at a future update. The author recommends this for age 4+, my recommended age group is 3-6yrs.
You can watch a video of the author discussing the app here.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Cost: $1.99 (45.7 MB)
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