Snoopy’s All-Star Football by Cupcake Digital -Review + Giveaway

Snoopy’s All-Star Football by Cupcake Digital -Review + Giveaway




2014-Nov-17 17.52.42

What we love…

Word highlighting as it is read and tappable words, classic Peanuts charm, game & a book

What we’d love to see…

More levels in the game, sound effects added to the story

Summary

Classic Peanuts fun as Charlie Brown and his friends play football in both a narrated storybook and a game.

Our Rating

PEAN01_Football_ICONSnoopy’s All- Star Football is a new app from Cupcake Digital featuring Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Snoopy and the Peanuts crew. It includes both a storybook app and a football- themed game app. The story is narrated with word highlighting as it is read, and touching individual words will cause them to be spoken. Music, sound effects and narration volumes can be independently adjusted or switched off. The app has no adverts or in-app purchases. External links to the appstore and Social Media are fairly well-hidden and behind a parental gate (you enter your birth year to access).

The story is a classic Peanuts tale. Charlie Brown decides to organize a game of football, Snoopy thinks it is a great idea and Charlie Brown and Snoopy set out to organize teams. Many of the Peanuts gang including Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Sally, Linus, Pigpen, Schroeder and Peppermint Patty join in the fun. At Sally’s insistence the game is boys vs girls and the boys team are one short but a mystery player joins their team. After a nail biting game it all comes down to the last kick, and the mystery player’s identity is revealed. You’ll have to read the story to find out who it is and who won the game.

This is not an interactive book app, but more of an eBook as there are no interactive elements except the tappable words; but the word highlighting as it is read and tappable words are both great features for emerging readers.  The color illustrations show all the classic Peanuts comic strip charm, but  I would love to see some sound effects added to the story (they are in the game but not the book) to add to the atmosphere.

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As well as the story the app also includes a game -Charlie Brown and friends are playing a game of football and you need to help them score a touchdown. The game has 20 levels, plus a bonus level which is unlocked if you score 3 stars on all the earlier levels. The first level is very simple just requiring a single pass, but as you move up the levels it gets more complicated with multiple passes and opposition players tackling if you take too long about your move. One team is made up of classic Peanuts characters including Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty and the other team is made up of players who all look like identical generic Peanuts characters, it would be nice to see identifiable characters on both teams with the boys playing the girls to reflect the storyline of the book.

2014-Nov-19 22.03.37

 My 7 year old son is a big Peanuts fan (and he especially loves Snoopy and Woodstock) so I thought he would be the perfect audience to test out the app. Although he knows very little about American Football, he was immediately excited to see the app and enjoyed listening to the story. He picked up the game very quickly and was soon better at it than I was ! (many of the levels took me multiple attempts to complete!). His only complaint was that he completed all the levels quite quickly (it took him about 40 minutes) and so he would really like to see more levels added.

Overall, this app is sure to delight any Peanuts fan with its classic story about Charlie Brown and the gang playing football and with the bonus of a Peanuts football-themed game.
Snoopy’s All-Star Football

The app will be $2.99 but is on an introductory sale at 99c don’t miss it!

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Epic! – Books for Kids Subscription eBook Library By Epic! Creations Inc- Review

Epic! – Books for Kids Subscription eBook Library By Epic! Creations Inc- Review




iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Over 2,000 books, reading log, incentives to read, well-known authors, personal book recommendations, ability to read offline.

What we’d love to see…

Even more new books, search option

Summary

Digital equivalent of having a personal library of thousands of kids books ready to be read and enjoyed with the added bonus of a reading log and reward system

Our Rating

Epic! - Books for Kids Epic! is a subscription  ebook service for children aged 12 and under. The Palo Alto based developer has teamed up with some big names in children’s book publishing including Kids Can Press, Lerner Publishing Group, Open Road Integrated Media, and Simon & Schuster to create Epic!  A 1 month free trial is available after that a subscription is $9.99 per month or $79.99 a year. Epic! says it currently has over 2,000 titles (I didn’t count them!) with plans to add more every month. It includes both Fiction and Non-Fiction books.

The app has a password protected parents area, this contains social media and email links; some of these links are also in the settings area of the individual profiles, to access them you must enter a birth year. From the parents area you can create up to 4 reader profiles, check your subscription status, and clear your cache if you are running short on space.

Each family member can customize their own avatar for their account, and as they read they can unlock more avatar options and earn badges. In setting up the profiles you can choose from 4 reading age levels: 4 & under, 5-7. 8-10 and 11-12.

 iPad Screenshot 5

The user interface reminds me of Netflix, and within each player’s profile you can browse and see a different selection of books. At the top are  the book of the week and other highlighted books e.g. for Easter Week Bunny books are in the spotlight; then books you have recently read; then books recommended for you followed by a variety of categories e.g. Picture books, Non-Fiction, Historical, Fantasy, Adventure and Graphic Novels. Whenever you select a book it shows the suggested Reading Age inside the front cover, alongside a brief synopsis of the book.

iPad Screenshot 2

As you browse through the bookshelves you can mark books as favorites to make them easy to find, read them now, or download to read offline. These are not book apps- they don’t have any interactive elements, music, sound effects or narration; they are ebooks  – faithful digital reproductions of print book that contain the original text and illustrations. Having this app is not like having a bunch of book apps but instead like having a home library of thousands of print books that you can take with you wherever you go. I really like the ability to read offline as that way I can stock up with books before we are traveling and can use them in places without internet such as in the car or on a plane. When reading with an internet connection it was nice to be able to read instantly rather than waiting for a book to download; though I did find in my twins bedroom, where the internet connection is slow, that I couldn’t read the picture books too quickly or the next page wouldn’t be loaded when we turned the page.

My six-year-old twins are really enjoying all the books they can choose from and I like the fact that each child has their own profile and that the available books cover a wide age range. For reluctant readers the rewards may act as an incentive to get them reading more. As a parent I really appreciate the fact it keeps a daily record of books read, and minutes reading each book,  it makes keeping their school reading logs up-to-date so much easier!

The book selection is really good especially for the younger ages , there doesn’t seem to be quite as big a selection for the 11-12 year-olds. My kids like to see familiar names such as Olivia, Click Clack Moo, Henry and Mudge, and The Boxcar Children but also enjoy discovering the many new books in the app. When reading you can zoom in the see more details and can read full-screen in either portrait (single page) or landscape (double page) mode.

iPad Screenshot 3

Overall, I  really love this app but there is one thing I’d like to see added and that is a search option. It would be great to be able to search for favorite authors or for a particular topic and if you find one book your child enjoys to see if there are others by the same author available.

I would heartily recommend trying out Epic! to see if it is a good fit for your family. If you are looking for book apps with lots of interactions and narration this collection is probably not for you. However, if you are looking for the digital equivalent of having a personal library of thousands of kids books ready to be read and enjoyed with the added bonus of a reading log and reward system for reading then this is a great choice. Epic! is positioning itself to be the Children’s Book equivalent of Netflix, much as Oyster is for adult books. Although it has nowhere near as many titles as Oyster’s over 200, ooo , it does have by far the largest collection of well-known books I’ve seen in a children’s subscription book app. Ultimately I think Epic!’s long term success or failure will depend on it’s ability to keep growing its collection of titles so that the app remains fresh and interesting, I think if they deliver on their promise to keep continually adding more quality content they will have a hit on their hands.

The app is free to download but to access the library you must subscribe -there is a 1 month free trial after that it is $9.99 per month or $79.99 for an annual subscription, you can switch off auto-renew in your iPad settings.
Epic! – Books for Kids – Epic! Creations Inc

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Price: $

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown by Loud Crow Interactive – Review

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown by Loud Crow Interactive – Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Pure nostalgia, a Halloween classic brought to life.

Update Oct 2013…

The developer has updated the app to remove IAPS and child-lock the Facebook buttons as we requested.

Summary

Overall, we  really loved the book , it’s not quite as interactive as A Charlie Brown Christmas but its still a really fun seasonal book and already a favorite in our households.

Our Rating


It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, from Canadian app developer Loud Crow Interactive, is a universal app and an adaptation of the classic Halloween story from Charles M. Schulz. If you are looking for a slice of Halloween nostalgia you need look no further. It has the original music, artwork and dialog from the TV Special and is narrated by Peter Robbins the original voice of Charlie Brown.  You can switch the narration off, and control the background music level independently. The words are highlighted as it is read, and touching individual words makes them be spoken too.

The app opens to a old record player playing a record of the soundtrack and you then open a book to begin the story. The story is told as a pop-up book with animations and interactive elements. The story covers most of the story from the TV Special but without the scenes of Snoopy and the Red Baron. Linus jumps into the leaves, and Lucy pulls away Charlie Brown’s Football yet again. The main story centers around Linus’s belief in The Great Pumpkin. The gang goes out Trick Or Treating while Sally and Linus wait for The Great Pumpkin. As usual poor Charlie Brown ends up with a bag of rocks instead of candy and Linus has to wait another year to try to get a glimpse of The Great Pumpkin, but he never gives up hope.

iPhone Screenshot 5The app has a number of interactive elements in it including falling leaves which you can touch to enlarge, getting Lucy to bob for apples, smashing pumpkins, collecting Halloween candy and playing the piano with Schroeder. The reader can also look out for bags of Halloween candy, and earn candy when they find them. They can also earn gold for successfully completing tasks within the app such as playing It’s a Long a Way to Tipperary correctly on the piano. It doesn’t have quite as many interactive elements as A Charlie Brown Christmas, but is still a fun adaptation. There is also an option to carve a pumpkin that then appears in the story, this is very cute and a fun activity for kids and they love seeing their pumpkin in the app. It does have a Facebook share button which has been childproofed in the recent update.

iPhone Screenshot 2

The other extra activity is the option of choosing an avatar that looks like a Peanuts Character and dressing him/her in a Halloween costume, the avatar then appears in costume in the story. This could be a really wonderful addition to the app as the kids love dressing him up and seeing him appear in the story. There is a huge variety of costumes available, these were originally available as an in-app purchase but the developer has now removed the IAP and all costumes are now free.

iPhone Screenshot 3

We loved this interactive storybook book when it first appeared in October 2012, but did not like the fact it had a lot of in-app purchases and unprotected social media links and downgraded its star rating to reflect that. We would like to applaud Loud Crow for listening to customer feedback and removing the IAPs and child proofing the external links. With these changes it is truly a 5-star app, pure nostalgia, a Halloween classic brought to life. A classic Halloween app that the whole family will enjoy !

If you would like to buy it please use the link provided:

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

Category: Books, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 134.86 MB

$4.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 The Mighty League Vol 1 – The Terrible Taunting – A Blackfish Children’s Book by Customizabooks LLC – Review

The Mighty League Vol 1 – The Terrible Taunting – A Blackfish Children’s Book by Customizabooks LLC – Review



Mighty League Vol 1

What we love…

Great story, fantastic job of explaining what being in the spectrum is like, customizable, highly interactive.

What we’d love to see…

Female narration when a female character is chosen, custom narration for speech bubbles.

Summary

An excellent book for everyone that promotes awareness of autism and Asperger’s Syndrome , encourages acceptance and understanding, and talks about tools that those in the spectrum can use to manage their day.

Our Rating

Geek Club Books, a company that specializes in products that promotes self-acceptance in children who are deemed different because they are in the autism spectrum, has done a remarkable job with their new book The Mighty League Volume 1: The Terrible Taunting. It is the first book in what will likely be a series of books based on the actual experiences of a boy who grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome. It is highly interactive and is presented in a comic book format.

There are many things noticeable in this book. The first thing you will notice, upon opening the app, is that it is customizable. You can choose whether you want the main character to be a hero (Jman) or a heroine (Jaycee). You can also record the narration using your own voice. Second, you will notice that it comes with a lively, upbeat music that goes amazingly well with the story. Third, you will notice that it beautifully illustrated. Finally, you will notice that every page in this book is filled with interactive items and interactive speech bubbles. Clicking on the main character’s hedgehog sidekick will bring up a notebook or journal that explains more about what having Asperger’s is like.

20131002-232954.jpgAs a mom of a boy with autism, this book is very dear to my heart. I think the best thing about it is that it is based on the real life adventures of Jonathan Murphy who grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome. The story is written by Jonathan’s sister Molly and is narrated by Jonathan himself! Some of the things the character goes through are similar to what my son goes through and I love that he can relate to it. It also gives us ideas on how to help him manage his day and how to handle difficult situations like stopping the school bully. This was good to read not only with my son but with my other children as well. My children already love their brother just the way he is, but this book gave them an even better understanding of what things are like for him.

20131002-233617.jpgThere are only a few things I would like to see in the future. Since the narration is done in the first person, I would like to see it narrated by a female when a female character is chosen. I also think it might be fun for the kids to be able to record their own voice for the speech bubbles. Lastly, I was a tad uncomfortable with the mom in the story never facing the main character. Her back was always turned even when addressing him. She was the only character whose face we did not see.

 

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Overall, I think this book is great and I highly recommend it to everyone. It promotes autism awareness , encourages acceptance and understanding, and talks about tools that those in the spectrum can use to manage their day. Be sure to also check out the Geek Club Books website. It is a full of resources and information on autism and spectrum disorders and is packed with lots and lots of love!

 

 

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The Mighty League Vol 1 – The Terrible Taunting – A Blackfish Children’s Book – Customizabooks LLC

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Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.

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