World Of Liberty “Paintings, Planes and Pioneers” is the third app in the series by World of Liberty. Each of these interactive storybooks takes you on an adventure which involves the United States and a country connection to another country. Other apps in the series include It’s Raining Pumpkins in Delaware and Chicago’s Green River Leads to the Emerald Isle!. These universal apps for iOS encourage kids to learn about history in a fun way that doesn’t make them realize they are learning. This adventure features the state of Kansas and a school field trip to the Air and Space Museum where Liberty learns about Amelia Earhart and her red Vega plane. The characters in the story are: Liberty Lane (the primary character), her toy eagle Georgie, her toy plane Truman and her dog Ellie as they adventure around the world. Her classmates, Tobi and Mei Li are also featured at the beginning of the story during the field trip and help her make the first connection about Amelia and her flight. Each story features “read to me”, “read to myself” and autoplay modes. The app also features word highlighting as the text is read along with audio narration and background sounds.
Liberty learns that Amelia was an explorer who saw her first airplane at the age of 11 at the Iowa State fair. They go to the state of Kansas to learn more about where Amelia grew up and learn about the capital and that one of the biggest crops for the state is wheat. Amelia’s childhood home was converted into a museum about her life and her travels. They make a connection to Mexico which is the next destination in the story and include a toy Vega plan named Bessie from the museum on the trip. While in Mexico they visit Frida Kahlo’s “La Casa Azul” where they learn that Frieda was an art pioneer who loved to paint. These two ladies were both pioneers in different fields and had a connection to one another. Unfortunately, Liberty’s computer gets a low battery so the adventure came to an end, meanwhile she is pondering how she can be a “pioneer of something”. Liberty is excited then to head off with her family to a local air show to cap off the day. The app also features puzzles which can be completed by the user.
Among my favorite features of the book are the brightly colored images and narration. I really liked how Liberty Lane was interspersed with the story and told it from a first person perspective. The facts are presented through the story like about the state of Kansas as well as recapping information at the end of the story like Amelia’s nickname like “Old Bessie”, a picture of each of the country flags. There is also a nice recap on Frida Kaho who loved art and encouraging children to make their own self portrait. I really liked the questions at the end of the story as well since they made my son think about what he learned as well in the story testing his reading comprehension. It also helped him to think about how he might be a pioneer or make his own mark on the world. I also really liked the fact that the story focused on female pioneers – there are not many books like this and it was nice to see a story which helped my kids realize that pioneers can be both female and male. I also love that Liberty and her friends make learning fun! My son had no idea when he was telling me the plot of the story that he had learned so much history!
In terms of improvements, I wish that you could choose the number of pieces in the puzzle. There were quite a few which could be frustrating for a younger user. I also liked the worksheets on the Liberty Lane webpage for the other books which were helpful for kids to follow along with. The text can be a bit long for younger kids, but having the book in autoplay mode helps them stay on task and follow along with the story. I’d also like to see more interaction on each of the individual pages which might help to engage younger readers while they are listening the story being read to them. I’d also perhaps love to see a more full version of who Amelia Earhart was and her travels around the world – perhaps that will be the next story?
There are no in-app purchases. Links are protected by a parental gate. You can turn on and off the background audio with a tap on the main screen.
Overall, this is a well done app that helps kids learn about two female pioneers as well as the connection between the United States and Mexico. My son learned a few facts from the story and was tested on his comprehension at the end which encouraged him to pay attention and follow along with the story.