Stone-carver by Woof-Woof Studio – Review

Stone-carver by Woof-Woof Studio – Review



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What we love…

narration in English is well done, colorful and interactive elements on each page to help engage the reader

What we’d love to see…

ability to easily re-read a page without having to flip it back and forth

Summary

Interactive storybook that is good for children from preschool age and older which has elements to engage them and teach at the same time.

Our Rating

Stone-carver The Stone-carver by Woof Woof Studio  is an iPad only storybook app about a stone carver who had a dream about being someone else based on the classical story.  The text and narration within the app are available in English, Thai and Chinese.  The story starts with the Stone-carver carving stone and starting to wish that he could be someone else, first he becomes a powerful Potenate, then he wishes to become the rain, the wind, a grand rock, and finally as he is a firm rock he decides that he wants to be the clever stone carver putting him right back where he started at the beginning of the story.  Woof Woof Studios is based in Bangkok, Thailand and was founded in 2011.

The app contains colorful illustrations and features interactive elements on each page.  My son enjoyed tapping on the stone which made the stone carver work faster  and at the end of the story broke away the rock to show the stone carving which changes each time you read the story.  I liked that after chipping away the stone you could learn a little bit more about the piece of work that was just carved.  The statues at the end of the story include Aphrodite of Milos or Venus de Milo, The Thinker, Moai and various statues from Easter Island.  The app features word highlighting as it is read and you can tap on the individual words to have them re-read aloud to you.    Each page has a different animation, ranging from a tap tap of the stone carver to a cheering of the crowd as the Potentate waves to a neigh of a horse.  They are not directly identified so you will need to “hunt” for them within the pages but it did make a fun activity for my son and I.  We used the story to talk about how one can wish to be many things, but no matter what you have to be comfortable in what you are doing and how you are doing it.  My son is still a bit young for the concept, although I know we will keep reinforcing it.  It also helped to work on the concept that not everyone is the same and we each have our own special and unique talents.

I would like to see the option to hold down a portion of the words in the text to have the story re-read to you without having to flip to another page.  I also found that the arrow to turn the page was sometimes in an area of an animation and meant that at times, we flipped the page without being ready to.  Upgrade of the parental lock to prevent inadvertent access to a variety of social media sites as well as the Internet – the current slide mechanism is very easy for children to figure out.

The app does feature external links including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, the App Store and more on a parental page.  They have a “slide” lock on them that little fingers find very quickly – I’d like to see the parental lock upgraded in a future release.

I thought the app was well done and the narration was spot on in English which can be uncommon for non-Native app developers.  It provides educational content and the word highlighting, narration and interactive elements will engage a child to participate in the story and learn a little bit about history at the same time.  The app is currently free for a limited time and will make a great addition to your app library.

 

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


 

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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Talking ABC by Jutiful – Review + Giveaway

Talking ABC by Jutiful – Review + Giveaway



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What we love…

Creative, fun, engaging way to teach letter names and sounds.

Summary

A really fun engaging app. The claymation critters are really fun and do a great job of engaging children. Can also be used as a fun way to practice speech therapy as all 26 animals will repeat what the child says and each has its own unique voice.

Our Rating

Talking ABC...

Talking ABC is a universal app from Jutiful. It is designed for children aged 2-7 years and uses a cast of interactive Claymation animals to teach the letter names and sounds, and also includes a series of four fun mini-games. Each letter turns into a cute Claymation animal whose name starts with that letter, is animated and will even repeat back what the child says to him. The app contains no in-app purchases or adverts. The app previously had social media links but the developer removed them on our recommendation.

In settings you can choose to work on letter names or letter sounds. You can also switch “speaking” on or off in settings.

Alphabet

In the main section of the app the child can swipe through the alphabet in order or pick individual letters to work on. Each screen shows the letter created from colored clay. Touching the letter makes the clay roll into a ball and then turn into an animated Claymation animal e.g. Bear for B, Newt for N, Xiphias (a swordfish) for X. The name (or sound) of the letter is spoken when the letter appears and the name of the animal is written and spoken when the animal appears. If speaking is on the animal will repeat back what the child says to it, and each animals has it’s own unique voice.

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There is also an alphabet song, which sings the letter and animal names, whilst the Claymation letters turn into the animals.

Letter Game

Here the child is presented with six clay letters and asked to pick the correct letter to match the letter name (or letter sound) the narrator says. If they get it right the letter turns into its animal, who praises the child. If they get it wrong the letter turns into a ball of clay and they are encouraged to keep trying.

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Animal Game

This is very similar to the letter game but this time they need to correctly identify the animals; it is good to do this after they have played with the main part of the app as it does include some unusual animals they may not have previously come across.

Funny Words

This section is good for kids of all ages to practice spelling and typing their name or any word. They type it on a QWERTY keyboard and it appears as clay letters. Touching the clay letters turns them into animals. This is a fun way to get children working on learning to spell familiar words.

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Puzzle

This consists of nine puzzles, the first is unlocked and the child has to solve them in order to unlock the next puzzle. Each has a picture of one of the Claymation animals in 12 squares, tapping on the square rotates it, the child rotates each puzzle piece until the animal is whole again, and then the animal thanks them.

Overall, this is a great inventive way to have children work on their alphabet, letter sounds and word- letter association. I love all the different Claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality. The talking animals repeating what the child says are really fun, and are a nice child-friendly alternative to apps like Talking Tom for getting young children to work on speech therapy practice too. One of the most engaging and innovative ABC apps on the market.

 

Talking ABC...
Talking ABC...
by HEY CLAY

Category: Education, Family, Educational, Games
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: 381.41 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.



 

Giveaway

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Mysteries of the Grand Canyon iBook by Marie von Minden – Review

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon iBook by Marie von Minden – Review



screenshot 1

What we love…

Beautiful photographs, engaging story, huge amount of information

What we’d love to see…

Ability to hide text after reading

Summary

A great introduction to the Grand Canyon for children who are about to visit it, or who just want to learn more about this important National Park

Our Rating

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon is the first iBook in the series Kristi Kay Discovers Our National Parks by Marie von Minden. Kristi Kay is a Cairn Terrier who travels around the USA with her owner Marie and visits many of the National Parks. This iBook is the story of her visit to the Grand Canyon; as well as the story it also includes an introductory video narrated by the author, and a ‘Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger” section which provides a lot more factual information about the National Parks, the Grand Canyon and it’s wildlife. The iBook is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or social media links.

 

Although Kristi Kay is the star of the story she shares the spotlight with two other animals- Alex a California Condor and Gerri an Abert’s Squirrel. The story is illustrated with beautiful nature photographs showing the and canyon and it’s flora and fauna. The story is not narrated, so is best suited to children in second grade or above, or may be enjoyed by slightly younger children if it is read to them.

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In the story Kristi Kay spends several days camping on the rim of the crater with her owner, but dreams of exploring the canyon itself off-leash and free. On their last day her owner hikes deep into the canyon where dogs are not allowed, and Kristi Kay is left alone in camp. Her dream come true when Alex and Gerri take her on a secret trail into the canyon. During her hike the terrier learns about the geology and history of the canyon, about California Condors and the captive breeding program that brought them back from the brink of extinction and about Abert’s and Kaibab Squirrels. She also learns about safe hiking and the importance of passing history and traditions from generation to generation. Some pages contain interactive elements such as animal noises or areas to tap to access more photographs.

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Kristi Kay’s adventure is a fun way to introduce elementary school children to the Grand Canyon going beyond its spectacular beauty to learn a little about its geology, the Native American’s who once lived there, and the animals who live there now. The “Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger” section provides a lot more in-depth information to children who want to learn more, and includes many photographs and videos. The iBook has almost 100 pages, but my soon-to-be Fourth Grader devoured it in one sitting. He thoroughly enjoyed it but did recommend reading it over several sessions (especially the Ranger section) as his head was swimming from so much information by the end!

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Overall, this iBook provides a great introduction to the Grand Canyon to children who are about to visit it or who just want to learn more about this important National Park. It includes lots of  beautiful photographs, the story is engaging and there is a huge wealth of information included. I found it a great opportunity to talk about the Grand Canyon with my son, and tell him about my own experiences visiting the park and hiking into the crater. I also really enjoyed learning about the California Condor and all the effort that has gone into the Recovery Program; it provided a great opportunity to talk about Endangered Species and our responsibility to help preserve them. The one change I would like to see in a future update is an option to hide the text after reading, so you can see all of the the pictures that are partially hidden by text (the photographs on the non-text pages are beautiful).

 

If you would like to download this iBook please use this link : Mysteries of the Grand Canyon – Marie von Minden

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon
Mysteries of the Grand Canyon
by Marie von Minden

Category: Animals, Books, Young Adult, Fiction, Travel & Adventure, Arts & Entertainment, Art, Science & Nature, Social Studies, Arts & Entertainment, Photography, Specialty Travel, Science & Nature, Nature, United States
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 389.84 MB

$5.99USD


N.B. This is an iBook and can only be viewed on an iPad using iBooks 2 or later. A free sample of the book can be downloaded from iTunes

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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Meet The Insects: Water and Grass Edition by NCSoft -Review

Meet The Insects: Water and Grass Edition by NCSoft -Review



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What we love…

High quality photos and videos, professional narration, journal bridges from app to real life, lots of information for the budding entomologist.

What we’d love to see…

Child lock on the external links, more photos and videos in the bee section.

Summary

The third installment in the high quality interactive insect encyclopedia focussing in insects that live in and around waterways.

Our Rating

 

Meet the Insects: Water & Grass EditionMeet The Insects: Water and Grass Edition Edition, is the third installment in the series of iPad insect encyclopedia apps from NCSOFT i action books. The iMums have reviewed the previous two installments: Meet The Insects: Forest Edition ; and Meet The Insects: Village Edition. The apps create an interactive encyclopedia for the budding entomologist, with information, pictures and videos on a variety of insects; each app follows the same format but concentrates on insects that live in different environments. This app covers insects that live in and around waterways. The insect information in the app is provided by National Science Museum of Korea. The app contains no adverts or in-app purchases, it does contain a FB like button and app store links but they are fairly well hidden.

There are five different parts of the app: insect story, see the insects, quizzes, multimedia and the observation journal. The home page and See the Insects can be viewed at night or day, and are accompanied by appropriate sounds effects.

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Insect Story: A series of short, narrated cartoon videos provides an introduction to insects. The first two sections discuss features, classification and lifecycle and are the same as in the first two apps. The other sections are unique to this app and cover topics such as why a beehive is made up of hexagons and how aquatic insects breathe underwater.

See the Insects: This is the heart of the app, and is an interactive insect encyclopedia. Navigation through the encyclopedia is by helping an insect swim up or downstream, which insect it is changes as you move alog the stream. Approximately thirty insects are featured in the app; they are from the orders: Hemiptera (Water Bugs and Striders), Hymenoptera (bees), Coleoptera (beetles), Mantodea (Mantis) and Odonata (dragonflies and darters). The insects are displayed in a wicker picnic basket and for each order there is an introductory section about the order and a sample insect. There is a magnifying glass so they can look more closely at the insect and learn about its body parts. Each featured insect moves if you touch it and is accompanied by photos, videos and short notes about that insect. The photos and videos give a fascinating close-up view of the insects life, showing it in its natural surroundings. A fun feature is each screen has little post-it notes with more information -such as why dung beetles are endangered (hint: it has to do with how we feed cattle).

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Multi-Media: This a library of the pictures and videos in the app, allowing the student to quickly scroll through them and pick out their favorites, they can see just photos, just videos or both.

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Quiz: The quizes ate a great way to test what the students have learned from the app. There are two options – true/ false (XO), and a photo quiz. In the true/ false quiz the student is shown a statement and has 10 seconds to decide if it’s true. In the photo quiz there is a statement or a description, e.g. “Its eyes are as big as its head” or “weevil” and the student has to pick which one of 3 photos matches the statement. In each quiz there are 10 questions, and the correct answer is displayed after each question, so the student can learn from it, even if they get the answer wrong. There is no data collection, and the questions are picked randomly change each time the quiz is taken.

The Observation Journal: I like this feature as it brings what the student has learned into the real world. They can insert photos of insects they find and make notes about them, including where they found it and what the weather conditions were. This is a great way to encourage students to go outside and watch and record their local insect life.

Overall, this series of apps is great for the budding entomologist, if a student is really interested in insects they will want the whole collection, other students may just want the most most suited to their local environment. The insect story is a nice introduction and the graphics, photographs, and videos are all very high quality. I like the addition of the quizzes, and the journal is a great way to encourage students to study insects in the real world. This app is most suited to elementary students, my third grade son enjoys the app series, but as it is fully narrated younger elementary school children who are interested in the subject matter will also enjoy it even if the text is beyond their reading level download. I would like to see a child lock on the external links, and I would like to see more photos and videos in the bee section – there is currently 1 photo of the bumblebee and 1 photo and 1 video of the Western Honeybee. Bees are very important insects and ones that many children will get the opportunity to see, so I’d like the bee section expanded to reflect that.

Meet the Insects: Water & Grass Edition
Meet the Insects: Water & Grass Edition
by NCSOFT

Category: Education, Reference
Requirements: Compatible with iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, 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: 397.17 MB

$4.99USD

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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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