Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC – Review and Giveaway



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Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC is a 28-page rhyming musical storybook app that introduces children to different kinds of sounds and gets them involved in a musical performance with the Ladybug Band.

What we love…

Children are able to sing or play along with the band and have it recorded.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration, repeat button for narration.

Summary

Ladybug Band is filled with colorful illustrations, different interesting sounds and fun interactive activities that will appeal to preschool children.

Our Rating

The 4-member Ladybug Band lives on the island of Kacha and they love to perform every night by the sea. There is Squiggle on the microphone, Bouncer on the strings, Dotley on the drums and Cheeks on the reeds (a wind instrument). Readers are introduced to the sounds of these 4 musical instruments – voice, strings, drums and winds as each member appears on stage.

Then the story invites the readers to be a part of the music with a variety of actions like shaking the iPad, drawing the campfire, clapping and dancing to the beat! More interesting sounds are heard and these include the sound of the waves breaking, the crackling sound of the campfire, the scratching sound of drawing in the sand and the whistling sound of the wind. This book app is quite a treat to the senses!

But the most enjoyable part for kids must be the chance to be a member of the Ladybug Band, singing or playing their musical instruments to the Coconut Jamboree tune and recording (audio only) their performance in the app.

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Up to 6 recorded sessions can be saved. When the recording is full, you just need to delete a previous recording to free up space for a new recording. These recordings are easily accessible from the home page which means that kids can come back frequently for a quick jamming session with the Band.

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There are 2 reading modes – children can either read along with the app or read it by themselves. For the read along mode, I hope that the app will add a word-by-word highlighting feature to facilitate words recognition for younger children. It would be awesome if this feature is also added to the Coconut Jamboree lyrics in the sing-along section.

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The story is simple but children will be happily engaged by the many interactive activities that are found in all its pages. The app is also easy and safe for young children to play by themselves. This is a delightful musical book app that gets children singing, dancing and performing together with the Ladybug Band.

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Ladybug Band

Ladybug Band Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC

Price: $0.99 USD

"This picture book app is so much fun, and educational on so many levels!"
- Sara Tate Goldstein, Principal
Accelerated Schools of Overland Park

"My 7 year old loves recording her own voice.

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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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


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: $0.99 USD

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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


Roxy and the Ballerina Robot – Review



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There has been a dearth of book apps on families that are relevant to today’s world. This makes a simple and realistic story like Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC a rare treat for families who are looking for stories that their children can relate to personally.

What we love…

Characters and issues that young children can relate to personally.

What we’d love to see…

A more challenging task for unlocking access to external links. Perhaps using ‘Dad’ and ‘Mum’ in place of their names in the story.

Summary

Readers learn about wise money habits in this rare book app that promotes strong relationship in the modern family.

Our Rating

The story begins with Roxy’s desire to buy the newest toy, the Ballerina Robot after watching its commercial. She starts to save up and happily completes her daily chores to earn money in order to buy the toy. However, she got discouraged when she did not succeed and became angry. Sounds familiar? Your children will be eager to know how Roxy worked out a plan and succeeded in the end.

Children being influenced by toy commercials is a sign of the times that we all have to face. How do we teach our children how to deal with their wants, work towards their goals, resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward? This book offers you opportunities to discuss these modern day issues with your children and teach them important life values at the same time.

I like that this story presents strong and healthy family relationships which is important for any family configuration. Spending time together doing routine stuff provides the adults in the family with lots of teachable moments in a non-intimidating way. Roxy and her dad don’t just share fun times together but they have rough moments as well. Whatever the situation is, there is always communication between them.

My youngest enjoyed reading the story by himself and found it refreshingly different from the usual make-believe storybook apps that he is used to. I think he likes it because he can totally relate to Roxy. For younger readers, the book app comes with an option for audio narration and has the words highlighted in sync with the narration (available in English, Spanish and French). Furthermore, it allows readers to tap and hear individual words which helps them to learn new words. There is also a page menu that can take readers directly to any of the 28 pages in the story.

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to start a good personal habit like saving. In this story, Roxy becomes more aware about her impulsive spending habits and learns how she can be patient and in control of her money. So if you are planning to introduce (or reintroduce) your children to a saving habit, Roxy and the Ballerina Robot is the perfect book choice to help kick start it.

Get to know the author and the inspiration behind his book app in our interview with him here.

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Roxy and the Ballerina Robot

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC
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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 117.63 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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


Pillow Mountain by Van Winkle Studio LLC – Review



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What we love…

Readers learning together with Nolan on how to make monsters go away.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration.

Summary

A great storybook to share with your children if you want to start a dialogue with them about their fears.

Our Rating

Is your young one having a hard time going to bed every night because he/she is afraid of the dark or just being alone in bed? Or perhaps he/she is being kept awake by nightmares and scary monsters lurking in the shadows.

Childhood fears are real for our kids and it is easy for us adults to ignore them just because they don’t really exist, but this doesn’t help our kids at all.

On the other hand, we can take these age appropriate fears seriously, tell our kids that it’s ok to talk about their fears and teach them how to face their fears confidently and courageously instead.

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Pillow Mountain by Van Winkle Studio LLC offers us the perfect opportunity to do just that. It is a simple and enjoyable rhyming storybook about Nolan’s dangerous journey through the mountain in his dream, where he encounters frightening monsters and how he conquers his fears to get back to the safety of his bed. I especially like the part of the story where Nolan realizes the true form of the monsters when he turns to face them instead of running away from them.

The story is well designed for the preschool age group. The length of the story is just right. Animations are minimal and there are fun little interactive spots on each page. The narration and soundtrack together make Nolan’s adventure exciting yet scary at the same time, which is meant to engage the young readers to relate their own experiences. The dreamlike world is also ideal for kids who do not like cutesy or childish illustrations. What the app needs is an option for young readers to start the story again at the end instead of using the page menu.

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Pillow Mountain is a great storybook to share with your children if you want a ready opportunity to discuss about their fears, whatever they may be. Most kids outgrow their childhood fears but we can make the process a lot easier with our reassurance. Check out the free Web Book version and a video on the interactive book app version of Pillow Mountain below.

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Pillow Mountain

Pillow Mountain Pillow Mountain by Van Winkle Studio LLC
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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 172.36 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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.

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