What we love…
the interactivity, the narration and the overall moral of the story
What we’d love to see…
a happier final ending
Enjoyable picture book that encouraged interaction within the story
Achoo Gaboo is a universal app for iOS and is created by a company called ‘Pixure Book Publishing‘ and illustrations by Timothy Banks. They make educational and imaginative reading apps for children of pre-school age.
My 19 month old daughter is so engaged when I play this storybook app to her. It took about 4 attempts at playing it before she first sat down long enough to follow the story. After this her interest in it grew. I liked the app as soon as I played it from start to finish myself as the music was fun,
the sotry was imaginative, and the graphics were vibrant. Even with my old and clunky iPad and the movements were smooth and the colours really popped out. I liked that there were various ways to interact such as tapping to pop bubbles, sliding right to left to turn to the next page and
tapping in certain pages to move on. I found that I could play it over and over to myself and not get bored. My daughter very much likes books and I’d even go so far as to say she likes books better than toys. This app ticked the boxes in terms of being very engaging even though it took a little while to get her to sit down with it.
If I’m honest I think that at 19 months, my daughter is a little too young to fully grasp the interactive features. She loved the fact that I could pop
the bubbles and the highs and lows of the song but she was cautious that sometimes it got loud when Gaboo sneezed like a trumpet. She kept her distance from the iPad during those times, only touching it once or twice after being prompted. Although she’ll now sit through the whole story, concentrating and soaking it all up, she’s been quite reluctant to interact with it any further. Possibly in another 6-12 months when her speech is a little more developed she can tell me why she’s hesitant of it. The book was very blue as a colour palette and although I don’t mind, I felt maybe it may appeal more to boys. It wasn’t a soft and cuddly type of book with cuddly characters; cute and bubbly – yes, but not particularly cuddly. My daughter is a girly girl even though I make no attempts to encourage her to be like that. Possible the colours could be softened a little more in the colour palette and that would help make the story more appealing to her.
The monkey in the app was sad at the point when Gaboo couldn’t shake his hiccups and it made my daughter a little sad. I’d love it if the monkey didn’t look so fed up and if Gaboo was generally happier. It would be nice to have a more upbeat story but the same level of interaction possible. Although in saying this I think it is generally just a happy book.
I shouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did but as a big kid myself, I really got into it. It is aimed at 2-5 year olds and maybe at around 2 or 2.5 years old, my daughter will be more curious and more interested in the activities. I also really enjoyed the illustrations! Great job Pixure Book Publishing and great job to Timothy Banks for the illustrations (I love to paint and can appreciate all the intricate detail in the graphics).
Overall, it’s a great app; it’s short enough to keep the attention of a child, whilst having enough interactivity to keep them coming back. I’ll be showing it to my 6 year old niece as I think she’s a bit more tech-savvy and so will love the interaction. I would definitely purchase an app like this as long as it’s sold at a reasonable price (which this is).
Sago Mini Toolbox by Sago Sago is an app for iOS targeting children aged two to four years. I was initially nervous because I thought my telly-addict daughter could do with a little less stimulation in the form of a computer of television screen and a little more time outside. I read a bit more about the company and discovered that they are very much into creating educationally focused, fun apps for kids. That was a tick in my box compared to some of the cartoons my daughter likes to watch. I read reviews from other people who’d had tried other Sago Mini games. Adults and children seemed to enjoy their games. I was swayed by the charm of this game in that it wouldn’t be scary or have any sort of negative tones. The game also helps develop cognitive skills. I opened the app and started the game. There was a section with information for parents which explained the motivation behind the creation of this game ‘Sago Mini Toolbox’ app. I appreciated this as they bothered to engage with me and convince me to have a closer look.
The graphics were first class. They were smooth, bold and attractive. The music was entertaining, even for me though I knew I was clearly not in the target demographic. The game centred around creating items with tools from my toolbox. I could create lots of different types of things using three or four items from my toolbox. These included a scooter and kite amongst other fun items. My toolbox included a hammer, machine screw driver and a few other things. Oddly enough there was a needle and thread in the toolbox. I found the game very simple and easy to follow. I could be a number of different characters in the game. I did lose some interest after about ten minutes of playing as I found the game quite repetitive. But alas, why does my view count? I’m the parent and the game is for kids.
I showed it to my 16 month old daughter who was immediately drawn in by the music and graphics. The target age was 2-5 years but my daughter enjoyed tap-tap-tapping away at the tools to build things. Her attention span was extremely short so I wasn’t sure whether this was due to the simplicity of the game or that she was too young to be interested for any longer than a few minutes.
I called in the help of my 5 year old niece to have a go at playing the game. Guess what? Sago Mini were spot on. She loved the game. No instructions were needed and she raced through the various building activities, excited after completing each activity. After about 15 minutes, she gave me back my phone and said she’d very much enjoyed it. Her words were ‘I liked everything, it was all fun!’. I asked repeatedly if there was anything she would change and she said no. I asked if she’d like to play it again another day and she said yes. So I stood corrected from my initial thoughts that it might be too simple in its goals or too repetitive. She loved being able to sew as well as drill and thought nothing of the fact that a toolbox containing a hammer might not necessarily also contain a needle and thread in the real world. She also thought there was nothing wrong with using, amongst other tools, the same needle and thread to help in building a dog house.
I would say that although she liked the game, it probably wouldn’t be enough to keep my nieces attention after playing it on two or three more occasions. She’s a very intelligent little girl and I would suggest that there should be a chance to unlock new hidden activities which also use some different tools and different repetitive actions in order to encourage her to want to come back to the game again and again.
In summary, I will definitely be taking a closer look at other games by Sago Mini. Hopefully they have games for younger kids and this may sway my daughter away from the 20-30 minutes of YouTube feeds of Raa Raa the Noisy Lion on my phone every morning as she shouts during the few minutes it takes me and my husband to wake up properly.
Well done Sago Mini, toolbox is a great little app. You’ve made a mobile phone gamer out of me (oops! I mean my niece) ;-p.
Sago Mini Toolbox
by Sago Sago
Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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: 139.67 MB
Screenshots (Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad (Click to enlarge)