Whether we like it or not, our kids frequently witness activities that are cruel to animals thinking that these are acceptable and they may never find out about the realities behind these practices. As adults, we too don’t think much about the consequences of our actions on the plight of the animals around us. Do we continue to visit animal shows where animals are kept in confined spaces? Do we question where our food come from and how the food industry is run? Are there animal-friendly alternatives to our fashion and food preferences? Are we guilty of contributing to the rising number of abandoned pets? Do we educate our kids enough about animal welfare and wildlife conservation?
What we love…
The creative use of transparent pages to visually show the opposite effects of our harmful/compassionate actions on the animals around us.
What we’d love to see…
Discussion guide for parents.
Simple but impactful, Animal Rescue is full of surprises and thought provoking actions for both children and adults.
I started to think about these issues after sharing the book app, Animal Rescue by PatrickGeorge Ltd with my youngest. This is actually a fun picture book for children to play animal rescue hero but strangely it was thought provoking at the same time. My son enjoyed freeing the animals and with a little prompting, he began to ask why the animals were not happy and wondered why certain actions were wrong. He was also curious to know what happened after he saved them? It is a simple yet powerful app that provided us with lots of learning opportunities.
While Animal Rescue is easy to play and seemingly simple, it is full of surprises for kids to discover. There are 14 animals to be saved in the app. Two side-by-side pages are devoted to each animal – the picture on the right shows the animal in captivity (or cruelly treated) and the left shows a scene where the animal rightfully belongs. A transparent page lies in between the two pages and it has a picture of the animal printed on it. This overlay completes the pages on both sides.
With a flip (swiping or tapping action) of the transparent page from right to left, kids feel empowered as they can transport the animal from captivity to freedom and instantly change the animal’s well being. They can also see the change taking place gradually if they turn the transparent page slowly. What I like best is the clever use of these transparent pages to make the animal from one page becomes part of the other page as we turn the transparent pages back and forth. This two-way flipping shows vividly the damaging effects of our actions and what needs to be done. What is interesting is that you don’t know what is the full story on the other page until you turn the transparent page.
This picture book is also available in a physical book version but the app has the advantage in that readers can immerse in a more interactive environment with various sound effects like the sound of the animals, their natural habitat and the celebratory cheers when an animal is rescued. There are also light animations on each page to entertain the readers.
There are no words in this picture book but there is really no need for them as the bright and colorful illustrations clearly convey the need for animal protection. Being wordless also allows you to pitch your conversations to your child’s level of understanding. It could be just a fun animal rescue story book that introduces your child to empathy for animals, or a conservation awareness book that prompts your child to take a stand on inhumane acts against animals, or an open-ended book to encourage your child to talk about how we can make a difference in the lives of these animals. It can be used for different age groups and purposes in that sense.
Animal Rescue is a simple but educational and meaningful book app that makes a heavy topic easy for young children to understand. It’s a topic that we don’t talk about enough but the fun and ingenious transparent pages in this book app will have children coming back to play and talking often. Every child should have access to this wonderful book, be it at home or in the school.
Help! The animals need rescuing! Fourteen animals to rescue including an orca, an elephant, a lion cub, a puppy...Swipe across to turn the page and then swipe again to rescue! Choose your favourite animal.
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.
Animals and vehicles are among the first nouns that young children are taught. Besides showing the real thing, you can also introduce these and accelerate your child’s vocabulary learning with the use of pictures. Here, the use of an app has an advantage over picture books and flashcards in that apps allow children to hear the names as well as the sounds made by the animals and vehicles. Kids can learn independently with minimum effort.
What we love…
Children get to see each animal/vehicle in different settings and engaged in different activities.
What we’d love to see…
More categories to be added.
An easy to use and kid-safe app for toddlers to learn about animals and vehicles with more categories of nouns planned.
Babii! by Skybound Interactive Ltd. is one such app that is easy for toddlers to use and affordable for the parents. The app starts right away upon opening and young children just need to tap on the screen of the device to see the next picture. With each tap, they get to learn the name of each animal/vehicle, how they look and sound like as well as their natural habitat/environment.
There are 2 ways the animals/vehicles are presented in Babii! – a grid of 9 thumbnail images or a 1-image mode. Each of the thumbnail images focuses on a group of similar animals or vehicles. Tapping an image from the grid will expand it to full screen and another tap will return it to the grid. Repeated tapping on the same grid will show the animals or vehicle in different settings and in different actions – swimming, running, eating, etc. This helps children to generalize their knowledge. In 1-image mode, the images are shown randomly and is perfect for younger children.
The photos used are of high resolution and the sound recording associated with each image is clear. Currently, the app uses Siri to read the names of the animals and vehicles. A future move to using pre-recorded voice will be a welcomed improvement. Switching between the 3 categories – Domestic Animals, Wild Animals and Vehicles, is straightforward and I understand that there are plans for more categories to be added.
You can also switch the language used by the app to different accents of English, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese or Romanian without having to change your device’s language setting. This is definitely a bonus for children growing up in multilingual families/communities.
A child’s early years are the best time for building knowledge and for those of you who are looking for apps to introduce your toddlers to the world of animals and vehicles while stimulating their minds through the exposure of foreign languages, Babii! is a good and affordable app to consider.
Beautiful graphics, fun and simple with easily digestible trivia for the very young
What we’d love to see…
audio replay button, completed puzzle interactivity, home button, volume settings
A excellent primary science app introducing children to forest animals and their habitats
Forest Explorer by Piiig Inc., developers of award winning Piiig Labs, is an app designed to introduce little ones to the few forest animals. It is an early science app, best suited for children up to first grade, and can be played in 8 different languages: English, French, Japanese, German, Swedish, Russian, and Chinese. Read our review of one of the other apps in the story, Piiig Labs.
The game begins with a chipmunk peacefully sleeping inside its burrow. When you tap on the chipmunk it awakens and scampers up, revealing that the opening to its burrow is a hole in a tree stump. Now it’s time to explore the forest to search for food and meet some new friends. Guide the chipmunk by tapping the area on the screen you want it to go to.
On the top left of the screen, you will see a grayed-out puzzle of a chipmunk. Clicking on it will reveal 12 animal silhouettes. They are of a chipmunk, a beaver, a deer, a frog, a rabbit, a turtle, a woodpecker, two bees, a blue bird, a mole, a skunk, and a spider. All these animals, except the chipmunk, are hidden in the forest. When you find an animal, its silhouette is replaced by a full color icon of the animal, and a puzzle featuring it is unlocked. As for the chipmunk, you have to figure out what special action it needs to perform to unlock its icon and puzzle.
The puzzle consists of 16 large pieces. The pieces are revealed one at a time, and the game will guide you where to put the very first piece. Subsequent pieces revealed will always connect with one that is already placed on the puzzle board. You have 6 seconds to figure out where to place the new piece before the app tells you exactly where to put it. After all the pieces have been placed, the puzzle comes to life with a cute little animation. The animal’s name is shown in colorful letters, and an audio plays that tells you something interesting about that animal. For example, you will learn that frogs drink water through their skin and lay eggs that hatch into tadpoles underwater.
Guiding the chipmunk around is simple and a lot of fun. You can direct it to different objects to see if it will interact with it. It will climb trees, hop on rocks, run inside hollow tree trunks, eat berries, and more. You may also find something different happening in a scene that you have visited before. For example, the deer family can either be sleeping or grazing when you come upon them.
Would I recommend this app? Absolutely! It does a fantastic job of introducing children to forest animals and their habitats. If you have young children, this is definitely worth checking out.
Forest Explorer is excellent for little ones. They are a few thing that I feel would make it even better. First, I think that there should be a replay button so that children can hear the animal trivia again if they want to without having to exit the puzzle and solve it all over again. Second, I think it would be great if the completed puzzle would include some interactivity to enhance learning. Children would benefit from hearing and seeing the name of the objects they tap on. On the frog puzzle, for example, children should be able to tap on the frogs, tadpoles, water/pond, and lily pads. Third, I would like a home button to return to the home screen, so that parents can access the settings without having to exit or close the game completely. Finally, the settings should also include a volume control or toggle switch for the background music and audio. I found that the background music was sometimes too loud, overpowering or competing with the animal trivia audio, which is more important for children to hear and listen to.
A excellent primary science app introducing children to forest animals and their habitats.
Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids
by Piiig Inc.
Price: $2.99 USD
*Please check before downloading* --> NOT compatible with iPhone 3G/3GS, iPhone 4/4S, iPad (1st generation), iPad 2, iPad Mini (1st generation) & iPod touch (1st to 5th generation).
The iMums is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The iMums (amazon.com)