Animal Rescue by PatrickGeorge Ltd – Review



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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.

Summary

Simple but impactful, Animal Rescue is full of surprises and thought provoking actions for both children and adults.

Our Rating

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Animal Rescue

Animal Rescue Book Animal Rescue Book by PatrickGeorge Ltd

Price: $1.99 USD

The animals need your help! Scroll across to tap any animal button or turn the page to navigate and then swipe the magic transparent page to rescue it!

Then watch the animals come to life in this.

 

 

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.

Babii! by Skybound Interactive Ltd. – Review



screen babii

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.

Summary

An easy to use and kid-safe app for toddlers to learn about animals and vehicles with more categories of nouns planned.

Our Rating

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.

Babii! – Skybound Interactive Ltd.

Babii! Babii! by Skybound Interactive Ltd.
Category: Education, Games, Educational
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: 61.62 MB

$0.99USD

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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.

Bloom by Megalearn – Review



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Bloom by Megalearn is a really cool science discovery app that teaches students 3 ways in which seeds are dispersed in nature. It shows how the coconut, dandelion and raspberry are propagated by their seeds and how they grow from seeds in stages. It also shows the elements necessary for the seeds to germinate.

What we love…

The ability to take part in the release of seeds as well as the seed dispersal and growth process.

What we’d love to see…

To include the fourth method of dispersal by explosion/splitting.

Summary

An excellent science app that allows student to discover how plants are propagated by their seeds and the conditions for seeds to grow.

Our Rating

Students start by choosing the coconut, dandelion or raspberry from the main menu. Each plant is presented in its natural environment – the coconut tree on the sandy beach, the dandelion plant in the fields and the raspberry bush in the forest.

Everything from this point onwards is intuitive and students need no explicit instructions on how to help the plants to grow and propagate, or how to create conditions suitable for the seeds to germinate. A slider by the side or at the bottom of the screen allows students to control the speed of change as they observe the growth process and the different seed dispersal mechanisms. My youngest loves all the meaningful interactions and animations as he explores scenes after scenes.

The app wows with the little details that make the experience realistic. For example, how it illustrates seeds flying in the air, how you can control the speed of wind to help the seeds fly further and the sound of water splashing as you move the coconuts further out in the sea are all very cleverly done.

At the end of the discovery journey, students are encouraged to reflect on the process that they have just witnessed. They are asked the name of the fruit/flower and how their seeds are spread. There is no other text in the app besides these multiple choice questions. It would be great if the app could offer the option to display the key words on the respective illustrations.

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There is so much knowledge to be shared here. You can highlight to your children the conditions essential for the seeds to germinate and grow as well as parts of the fruit/flower and their function in spreading their seeds (e.g. the porous coconut husk, the dandelion’s hair-like parachutes of seeds and the bright and attractive appearance of the raspberries) or discuss why the coconut trees are commonly found near the sea, the dandelion flowers grow well in open fields and the raspberry bushes are so delicious, etc.

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The illustrations are beautiful, the music is calming and the main learning points are highlighted. I like how students can take part in the release of seeds as well as the seed dispersal and growth process, and be amazed by the wonders of nature. Science is a very fascinating subject for many students and Bloom by Megalearn captivates students’ attention and spark their curiosity further. I highly recommend this excellent science exploratory app for all children from preschool to early elementary grades.

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Bloom by Megalearn

Bloom by Megalearn Bloom by Megalearn by Megalearn AB
Category: Education, Games, Educational, Simulation
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: 104.59 MB

$4.99USD

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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.

Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc. – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…
Beautiful graphics, fun and simple with e
asily digestible trivia for the very young
What we’d love to see…

audio replay button, completed puzzle interactivity, home button, volume settings

Summary

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.

Our Rating

Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids, 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. 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.

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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.

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.

Forest Explorer is excellent for little ones. 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.


Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids
Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids
by Piiig Inc.

Category: Education, Family, Educational, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 336.57 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)


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Camping With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

realistic camping app that encourages kids to leave no trace and provides a variety of mini games to play which reinforce real word like dousing a fire, finding an animal via tracks

What we’d love to see…

a game that includes the stars or evening sky, trail safety tips and ability to make vocabulary words harder or easier depending on the age of the child.

Summary

Fun app aimed at preschool and early grade school.  My Cub Scouts enjoyed using the app as we talked about a hiking trip and prepared for it.

Our Rating

Camping With Grandpa Camping with Grandpa from Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS featuring Grandpa as he heads out on a camping trip.  There are a variety of activities that include object identification (find the xx tree), word searches (you pick out the words and highlight them with your finger), identify animal tracks from a field of four animals and after you have completed your activities for the day you earn a badge as well as setting up camp for the night.  This was the perfect app to share with my soon to be Cub Scout Camper as we used it to talk about what it was like to go camping and the items we would need to bring!

 

There are seven educational mini games which include

  • Read a compass – which way to go down the path
  • Hiking – find an object like a type of leaf or what type of tree
  • Animal food – what types of foods do the animals like
  • Animal Tracks – what shaped track do the animals make when they walk on the beach
  • Word find – can you find the forest words and highlight them with your finger
  • Tent Shadows – which pocket knife makes the shadow
  • Hiking Gear – which items should we pack in our backpack

I loved that the app encouraged “leave no trace” and to pick up your litter as well as having a variety of things you would actually do on a camping trip like finding a specific type of tree or learning how to read a compass to find the direction we were going in.  It also taught you about foods that animals ate as well as different animal tracks.  My son had fun looking at the tracks and trying to figure out which animal made which track.  We also talked about which objects should go in his bag when we go hiking.  He loved roasting the hot dog and marshmallow like we do at home some nights in the summer.  He also liked dousing the fire before Grandpa went to sleep at night.  The graphics are clear and realistic and the activities rotate in a different order so kids don’t get bored with the content.  My son also loved the different educational videos.  I liked that when you doused the fire every last bit had to be out – just like in real life.  It was a nice way to reinforce with my son that we can’t leave even a little bit alight.

In terms of enhancements – I would love to see an avatar to represent the child in this app.  My son was also sad a few times when he had finished some of the tasks and reopened the app and had to start over again – for us I just minimized the app rather than closing it so we could go back to it.  I’d also like to see some sort of star activity included like finding the big dipper or evening sky to learn or educate about how we used to use the stars to navigate.  It might also be fun to have a way to follow the trail with trail markers as well as some safety pieces included – i.e. if you get separated from your parents do this.  I also liked the vocabulary words – but some of them were hard for my first grader so perhaps a way to choose the types of words or complexity via a parental control would help to reduce frustration especially for younger readers.

Overall, this is a fun and realistic camping app suited for preschool and early grade school children.  I found it was a great way to prepare my Cub Scouts for their hiking badge and give them an idea of what to expect before we went.  This is a great real world type app that incorporates education about what we should and should not do when camping with some fun learning activities that encourages kids to explore the outdoors!


Camping With Grandpa
Camping With Grandpa
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Family, Educational, Games
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: 105.58 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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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Toad Sues God by iKidsReads – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

the animals work together to solve a problem, fun illustrations and word highlighting

What we’d love to see…

Parental area which houses all of the links, ability to have the words come back after the action when being narrated

Summary

It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.

Our Rating

Toad Sues GodToad Sues God by iKidsReads is a universal picture book app for iOS featuring a folktale from Vietnam about a frog who grinds their teeth and rain.  The story features four animals: frog, fox, bear and tiger.  After successfully capturing each of the four animals that God has released via the gates, Toad is given an audience with him.  Toad shares the story about how there is no rain in his area and God discovers that the rain manager has been playing rather than giving rain to the animals via the dragons.  God tells Toad if it does not rain, he must just grind his teeth and he will make it rain and does not need to return.  The book features two modes, read to me and read to myself.  With the read to me option, as the words are read they are highlighted which is good for emerging readers.  Navigation within the app is simple with a swipe, and there are four icons at the bottom of each page: a house which returns you to the main screen, a book with arrows which allows you to pick a page, a child face which means you can toggle between the “read to me” and “read to myself” mode, a video camera which shows a movie with the interaction to the page, and a box that allows you to make the words appear and disappear in the read to myself mode.

Toad is very clever and brings animals with him when he goes to visit God.  When they arrive, Toad goes to hit a drum outside of the kingdom while the other animals hide in the bushes.  An angel comes to see who is hitting the drum and discovers that Toad is hitting on it – he reports back to God who sends out chickens that are captured by fox.  Then a dog is sent to deal with fox only to be caught by bear, and Tiger scares away the guards.  The book contains 15 pages with narration and word highlighting as well as animation on each page.

iPhone screenshot 3

I liked that the story had a moral to it – that showed that children should not give up or be discouraged and they should work together to solve a problem. It also shows that animals are an important part of the ecosystem to help keep our world working well.  The illustrations are cute as well and typical of what you would see in a fable.  I liked the complexity of the parental gate which included both regular and negative numbers as well as multiplication which ensures kids didn’t get into an area they were not supposed to. The app has a parental gate – you solve a math problem and then it unlocks external links which include iTunes and the internet.  The math problem is multi-part and unlikely to be solved by younger children which is a huge plus!  My son enjoyed pressing the camera button so he could see the animation over and over again.

In terms of enhancements, I found that some of the narration sounded a bit “hollow”.  I’d also like to see more interactivity on the pages, currently if you are in the “read to me mode” and want to go back and hear the story again on the page or tap on a specific word it is not read aloud a second or even third time. The words disappear on the page after it is read aloud but do come back after a period of time, I’d like to see it so that the words would stay or allow you to tap on them, or to make it do the action again.  It would also be nice if there was a parental area where you could turn on and off the various icons as well as hiding the links.  It might also be fun if there was a last page which featured the moral/song of the story.

Overall, this was a cute fable about a Toad who stands up to God to get rain to come to their part of the world.  It isn’t scary per se for younger kids, although I would say the title of the app is a bit of a misnomer given that there’s no courts or lawsuit in fact involved.  It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.


Toad Sues God
Toad Sues God
by iTruyenTranh

Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 33.82 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)


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.

Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box – Review



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What we love…

The variety of photos and videos featured for each animal.

What we’d love to see…

More animals to be included.

Summary

Packed full with interesting features for learning and entertainment, Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards keeps kids engaged with more content and fun than most animal learning apps.

Our Rating

Are flashcards bad for young children? There are many arguments for and against using flashcards but from my experience, flashcards can be an effective learning tool when the learning is active and it is supplemented by other interactive activities.

In this post, I will review an animal flashcard app that does more than just digitalizing the traditional flashcards. Unlike many flashcards apps in the App Store, Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box is a comprehensive flashcard app that offers your child 4 different ways (Explore, Sound, Video and Game) to learn about 14 forest animals, supported by a host of customizable options.

Using animations, transitions, animal icons, high quality sound recordings, real life photos and video clips, your children will learn the animal facts, names and sounds of the skunk, squirrel, hedgehog, racoon, bear, monkey, lemur, wolf, ape, black punter, panda, tiger, fox and koala. For each of these animals, there are at least 6 different HD photos e.g. single, plural, close-up, baby and/or mother and baby, many of them showing different species.

Though the images are called flashcards here, you don’t actually flash the cards. Kids are the ones who are in control – they pick what animals they want to explore from the main screen and they learn at their own pace. The app is very easy for them to use and all outside links are locked behind parental gates.

The only section that children require the help of adults are the pre-selected animal videos which need internet connection to access. Again, the app presents more than 1 video per animal to show how the animals behave in a variety of habitats.

Besides the learning of facts, there are also games where learners are asked to identify the animals by the name, sound or both. These games encourage the recalling of the knowledge learnt and these help strengthen the associations made about the animals.

To keep young learners engaged, this app adds a variety of fun features as well – animal icons, themes, shuffle and weather wheel. Kids can explore the forest animals by their animated icons, realistic icons or silhouettes and in 2 different themes – Spotlight (a clean theme with no distractions that is perfect for children needing help with focus) and Nature Box (for those who want to explore the look and feel of the animal’s natural environment).

They can also use the shuffle feature to mix up the positions of the animal icons in the Explore and Game modes so that the app always look different. The interactive weather wheel, on the other hand, allows learners to spin and explore the different weather conditions (sunshine, snowfall, rainfall, wind blow, mist & fog, thunder).

And that is not all! Your children will also get to enjoy the ability to change the app character, Cucu’s animal outfit (tiger, panda, koala or bear), his skin tone, eye and hair color. You can further personalize their learning experience in Peekabox-Forest with its many customizable options.

So many features and so affordable, Peekabox-Forest packs more content and fun to keep your kids engaged in learning. It is well worth a download if you are looking for a forest animal learning app.

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Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards

Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box
Category: Education, Reference
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 131.08 MB

$0.99USD

 

 

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.

Prairie That Nature Built by Dawn Publications – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

beautiful illustration, informative primer, educational

What we’d love to see…

sounds and/or music, consistent layout, better audio for the narration

Summary

An app that is based on a book that helps children understand and appreciate life in the prairie.

Our Rating

The Prairie That Nature Built, by Dawn Publications, is an app based on the book of the same name by Marybeth Lorbiecki. It has 3 parts. The first part is the story, the second part is a matching game, and the third part is a primer.

The book was born out of the author’s love for the prairie. It describes, in poetry from, what the animals and plants in the prairie are like. It starts from the underground and works its way up to the sky. Suddenly lightning strikes and starts a fire. The rain that follows quenches the fire and then months later life in the prairie begins anew. The story does a good job of describing life in the prairie, and I loved how it ended with a little boy who we find out is the voice behind the poem. However, it felt a little tedious and did not hold my children’s attention very well. It was also inconsistent in form. It starts off as a cumulative poem but changes in parts of the book. The illustrations are beautiful and very vivid, and some were interactive. My children enjoyed looking at the animals and seeing if touching them would trigger movement. However, because it did not include any sounds, their interest quickly dissipated. Most of the illustrations were up close, which did a great job of helping children get a good and detailed view of the animals, but failed to communicate the vastness of the prairie. It felt crowded instead of expansive. I also did not like how the view switches from landscape to portrait in the middle of the book and then back to landscape again. The switch felt very strange and distracting to the flow of the book. The audio (narration) was also too loud. You can hear breathing and popping noises every so often. My children eventually decided to turn off the narration as it was more pleasant for them to read the book on their own.

The matching game revisits several pages of the book. This time it only includes the illustrations and a list of items to find. You drag a name from the list to its matching object. If the name matches the object, the name vibrates and stays with the object. If not, it goes back to the list, indirectly prompting you to try again. Other than that, the game provides no helps, hints, or answers. It also has no sound. Once again, it failed to hold my children’s interest. I think the game would make a lot more sense if the animals and plants were introduced in the story. This can be accomplished by displaying the animal or plant’s name whenever it is tapped. The matching game will then serve to test their memory of the plants and animal they came across. Also, it would be great if a correct match revealed a little more into about the animal or plant.

I think I liked the primer most of all. The audio was much better on this one. The pages were clean, easy to read, and informative. I also liked the author, illustrator, publisher, and developer pages. It is presented with audio and it is as though they were speaking directly to the kids. I have never seen it done this way before.

While I feel there is much improvement needed in this app, I appreciated how it seeks to inform and excite children about the prairie. If you decide to check this app out, I would suggest using it on an iPad since the font is much too small to read comfortably on an iPhone.



Prairie That Nature Built Prairie That Nature Built by Dawn Publications

Price: $3.99 USD

Special Introductory Offer—20% off!
There’s nothing boring about a prairie—especially in this book-app romp through the great grasslands of North America followed by a matching game. Nature in.

Pigsty – Animals on the loose by Ravensburger Digital – Review



screen pigsty

What we love…

Interesting puzzles that help develop problem-solving skills.

What we’d love to see…

Leaderboard.

Summary

An original thinking game that is fun for both children and adults.

Our Rating

Need a thinking game that the whole family can enjoy playing during this holiday break from school? Then you have to download Pigsty by Ravensberg onto your device and start giving your brain a great workout!

Pigsty is free to download with 20 levels of unique physics-based farm animal-theme puzzles that are perfect for your children and fun for adults. These puzzles are so fun and addictive that by the end of the 20 puzzles, you will want to unlock the rest of the 50 puzzles as well (via an in-app purchase of $1.99). So be warned!

The objective of the game is to fence in the different animals inside their respective fenced areas. Each puzzle starts with a goal that shows where the fences should be and what (and how many as well) animals should be in each of the goal areas. Players shrink the original fence area by cutting away unwanted fences and must avoid touching the constantly-moving animals when doing so. The game is easy for children as there are no complicated rules to remember and no penalty to frustrate players but it’s a race against time to get the best score!

My youngest had fun playing the easier levels. He found the animals cute and their reactions when they collided with each other, flipped in the air by the springboards, bounced off tires or being touched, very funny. He was tickled by the silly sound effects as well. The music and sound effects can be separately turned off if they are too exciting for your child.

As an adult, I enjoyed solving each of the puzzles and felt a sense of achievement when I finally completed all the 70 game levels. It took me hours as the puzzles got more and more challenging. What is left now for me is to achieve my personal goal of perfect 3-star ratings for all the 70 levels. Out of the 50 advanced game levels, I only managed to get two 3-star ratings! 🙁

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Each game level presents a different challenge and it’s given a name that hints at what the challenge is. Fencing in the animals got harder and harder as more and more animals are added, the different animals move at different speed and the original fenced areas change every time.

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I felt very excited when I was playing the Pigsty puzzles. I had to think of the most effective ways to make the best use of the bouncing tires, jumping springboards and homing big red barns. Through trial and error, I learnt how to modify the fences to get the animals to move in the directions that I wanted. I strategized the order of my fencing moves in order to separate and fence in the animals step-by-step. I found myself always multi-tasking as I kept an overview of all the animals’ movements and grab the opportune moments when the animals were in the right places for my next move.

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I simply love games that challenge my concentration, reaction time and ability to multi-task. For the children, these games are great for developing their analytical and problem solving skills as well as their fine motor skills as they have to be accurate and fast when drawing their new fences. It’s a fun thinking game that I highly recommend to all families. So wait no more, go download this free app and start playing right away!

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Pigsty – Animals on the loose

Pigsty - Animals on the loose Pigsty - Animals on the loose by Ravensburger Digital GmbH
Category: Games, Entertainment, Action, Puzzle
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: 459.47 MB

$FREE

 

 

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.

Sam Plays Saxophone by Cathy Lane Studios – Review



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What we love…

Activities and teaching resources to extend the fun and learning beyond the app.

What we’d love to see…

More learning activities on the animals and instruments.

Summary

A wonderful story about the power and joy of making music.

Our Rating

I’m always amazed at how music can break down barriers and pull people of diverse backgrounds to work together towards a common goal, and I make sure to highlight this to my children whenever they take part in a musical collaboration. However, this idea is a little too difficult for my youngest to comprehend. Fortunately, I found just the perfect picture book that will help make it easier to explain.

Sam Plays Saxophone by Cathy Lane (who also wrote Butterfly Kisses), is about Sam the squirrel’s Trans-Pacific journey from the United States of America to New Zealand and Australia in search of the perfect sounds to complete his music. Along the way, he had to brave ocean storms, wild deserts, deadly snakes, etc. before finding his new jazz band members – Kiwi, Roo, Snake, Croc and Dingo.

The story is told in rhymes with light animations, interactive points and activities (mazes, puzzle, quiz and music player) added for extra fun. Readers can either have the app read to them or read it on their own.

This is a wonderful story that shows how music connects animals from different habitats to make music together. Readers get to learn about the names and sounds of the music instruments played by the animals – tenor saxophone, electronic keyboard, drums, trumpet, double bass and jazz guitar. You can also extend your children’s learning with the free teaching resources to learn more about the musical instruments. For those of you who are musically inclined, you can even download the full music score for Sam’s music (and score for the individual instruments) to surprise your kids.

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This is not just a wonderful book about animals and musical instruments. It is also a great app for expanding your children’s general knowledge like where the USA, New Zealand, Australia are on a map and some interesting facts about Australia. With so much to do and learn (music, geography, animals and language) in this app, Sam Plays Saxophone is more than just your average story book app. Check it out!

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Sam Plays Saxophone – Cathy Lane Studios

Sam Plays Saxophone Sam Plays Saxophone by Cathy Lane Studios
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 446.38 MB

$2.99USD

 

 

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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