Gary’s Place by Giggle Desk -Review




iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

Cute storyline, charming illustrations with interactions that add to the story rather than distract from it.

What we’d love to see…

Page navigation option

Summary

Gary’s Place is a truly a delightful book app about a gopher with a big imagination who dreams big but learns a valuable lesson. A great bedtime story.

Our Rating

Gary's Place Gary’s Place from Giggle Desk is a book app written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Will Terry. It tells the tale of Gary the gopher who lives with his parents, until one day they decide it is time for him to out and build a home of his own. It contains no in-app purchases or external links of any kind. The story has read by myself or read to me options with word highlighting as it is read.

Gary the gopher lives in a comfy, cozy, gopher hole with his mum and dad, Gary thinks it is too crowded, so his parents suggest that he moves out and builds his own home. Gary thinks this is a great idea and digs and digs and digs to create his dream home. Gary is no ordinary gopher, not only does he build his home but he builds all the furniture too. Gary’s home isn’t just a gopher hole it’s an underground mansion and every day he comes up with new ideas to make it bigger and better. He has his own workshop, movie theatre and gym, but he still isn’t satisfied, he keeps digging and digging, adding more and more to his dream home until one day disaster strikes…… To find out what happens you’ll have to read the story, but Gary learns a valuable lesson and discovers less is more.

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This is truly a delightful book app, it is fun to watch Gary’s imagination as he dreams up more and more fanciful ideas and the charming illustrations really bring it to life. The app has light animation, realistic sound effects, and just one or two interactive elements on each page which add to the story rather than distract from it. My favorite interactions are seeing Gary running the hamster wheel in his gym and the expressions on Gary’s face when he thinks of a new idea. The one addition I would like to see is a page navigation option to allow you to easily return to favorite pages – the developer tells me they are working on this update at the moment.

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My children and I were truly captivated by this simple charming story. Gary is a very lovable character-  hard working, imaginative and thinks big, but still humble enough to learn his lesson. The illustrations are cute and the animations and small amount of interactive elements are enough to enhance the story without distracting from it, a great bedtime story. Highly recommended.

Gary’s Place – Giggle Desk

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Size: 0 MB

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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.

Giveaway

Code drop Jan 24
1. http://redeem-now.com/13f6b346edc3
2. http://redeem-now.com/f7ea93679307

If you aren’t lucky enough to get a code please enter the rafflecopter for more chances:

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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).



Fierce Grey Mouse HD by Chantal Bourgogne & Tizio BV- Review




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Summary

A charming book app with beautiful hand painted illustrations. An outstanding book app for young readers.

Our Rating

This was review first published on Digital Storytime on May 12, 2011

Fierce Grey Mouse HD Prepare yourself for one very cute mouse story. This book opens with a little grey mouse removing the word ‘little’ to put the word ‘fierce’ in its place for the title page. The letters are like cut-outs from magazine copy, giving the book a whimsical quality. The illustrations are hand-drawn and color-drenched, creating the perfect backdrop to the story. Every page is also filled with small but delightful animated elements triggered by tapping on the characters.

Little grey mouse wants to be fierce. So he lifts weights, practices pouncing and perfects his roar. Then he hides in a tree to wait for someone to scare. His good friends come by first, calling for their little mouse friend to play. Instead they are scared out of their wits by something ‘fierce’ roaring and pouncing from the tree. Eventually mouse is all alone and realizes he’s lonely. The subtle moral emerges that he doesn’t need to be ‘fierce’ to be happy; in fact his friends prefer him to just be a ‘little’ grey mouse. It ends with the friends playing peacefully again.

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This ebook is well made. It has cute page turn arrows (of mouse’s duck and pig friend holding arrows), a nice page guide, ample settings and even the ability to change to a normal font for easier reading (an important feature for young learner readers). There are also a couple nice little extras: 2 different matching games and 2 pages to color from the story.

This is the kind of title that delights young readers and adults alike, making it a great bedtime read (minus the games of course). The book also comes with several options for English, Spanish & Dutch narration. Overall, this is an outstanding book app, from the opening page to the final scenes. It has gorgeous graphics, charming characters and just the right amount of animated interactivity to engage young readers. My highest recommendation.

Code Drop Jan 24, 2014

1. http://redeem-now.com/809fd3494afe
2. http://redeem-now.com/504902ec875f
3. http://redeem-now.com/7407d05350d2
4. http://redeem-now.com/c204bdcbf718
5. http://redeem-now.com/419f9f5ba6a6

If you would like to download this app please use this link Fierce Grey Mouse HD – Tizio BV

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Carisa Kluver is the the editor of Digital-Storytime.com, an iPad children’s book review site. She has a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and an MSW from the University of Washington. Before starting this project, she was a school counselor, health educator and researcher in child & maternal health.



Cheese Luise by Pixxadoo -Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Hand drawn pictures, games change slightly each time, freedom to explore

What we’d love to see…

An introductory story or video

Summary

A fun app for toddlers and pre-school aged children featuring a cast of animals on a Swiss farm.

Our Rating

Cheese Luise Cheese Luise is universal app for toddlers and pre-school aged children from Swiss app developer Pixxadoo. It is set on a farm in the Swiss Alps and features a cast of animals in a series of mini-games. The app is free to download and includes 3 mini-games, it contains an in-app purchase (currently $1.99) to unlock the full version of the app (which contains 14 mini-games). The app contains no adverts or Social Media links,  the in-app purchase and parents section are protected by a child lock, which requires solving a math question.

The parents section is an excellent place to start as it gives ideas on how to play the app with your child, introduces all the animals and tells the story of the app. Cheese Luise is about Max a mischievous farm cat called Max, who likes taking pictures of all the other animals in funny situations, which he himself creates. Max has met his match in Luise the goat, she doesn’t like having her picture taken and does her best to keep Max in check. The puzzles in the app all feature Max’s photos and have squares missing which the child must put back in place. Each time they play different squares are missing, initially 2 squares are missing, once they have solved the puzzles several times the number of missing pieces goes up to 3 and then 4. Whenever they complete a puzzle Luise chases Max.

The home page of the app features a hand- drawn picture of a farm in the Alps, the child taps on picture of one of the animals to select it. The games are as follows:

Luise the Goat

Feeding Luise

There are  several different foods on the shelf and the child gets to feed Luise. She will chew up the food and let them know if she likes it or not, if she doesn’t she may spit it out or even turn an interesting color.  They can also dispose of food she doesn’t like by dropping in a bin. Don’t try feeding her too fast, she won’t accept a new food until she has finished the last one.  If she eats a ticket with ‘Max” on Max the cat will appear and Luise chases him away.

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Uncover Luise

Luise is hiding under a pile of straw and the child has to drag and drop the straw off Luise and onto a straw pile to uncover her.

Max Puzzle

This puzzle is a picture of Max the cat.

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Flo the Puppy

Teach Flo Tricks

The child gets to try teaching Flo some tricks. She will chase her tail, sit and beg, lie down and roll over, jump and bark. To make it easy there are blue marks showing where to touch her to activate the tricks, if the child taps these spots she will do the first part of the trick e.g. lie down, if they hold it she will complete both parts. After several jumps Flo lands in the washing on the clothesline – giving Max another photo opportunity. This mini-game is really fun and is my favorite one in the app.

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Flo Puzzle

Flo is all tangled up in the brightly colored laundry in this picture.

Uncover Flo

Flo is hiding beneath a pile of clothes, the child drags and drops the clothes into the basket to uncover her.

 

Susie the Pig

Naughty Max is knocking a beehive near Susie trying to get a good picture. If the child honks a horn Max will get startled, and you get to see what happens next!

Susie Puzzle

A picture of the bees chasing Susie.

Clean Sophie

Susie jumps in a mud puddle to get away from the bees and the child can clean her up by washing away all the mud.

 

Kashmir the Horse

Feed Kashmir

This is very similar to feeding Luise, but after she has finished all her regular food Kashmir is partial to some birthday cake and makes a total mess eating it.

Kashmir Puzzle

The photo this time is of Kashmir eating cake.

Clean Kashmir

Kashmir has cake all over her face after stealing the farmer’s cake, the child can help her by cleaning it all off with a sponge.

 

Lady Bell the Sheep

Shear the Sheep

Lady Bell and the other sheep are due for shearing, , the child can use a clippers to shear the sheep. All the other sheep get a conventional clip, but Lady Bell wants to look like a poodle.

Lady Bell Puzzle

This picture shows Lady Bell doing her own unconventional clip.

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Within each animal’s set of games the child can keep playing in an endless loop for as long as they wish, and the games change a little with new food types or different missing puzzle pieces. To choose a new animal they press the up arrow to return to the home screen.

The app has no spoken or written language (except in the parents section), so can be enjoyed by children of any nationality. It is designed to be easy for little ones to navigate without help. Each animal’s set of games tells a story, without words, of Max attempting to get another candid shot for his photo collection. The app has realistic sound effects, such as animals noise and clipper sounds. The mini-stories are funny as Max causes chaos around the farm, and the the hand-drawn pictures are engaging. I would love to see the information in the parents section- the animal names and personalities and the story of Max trying to take the candid pictures, turned into a short video or mini-story so the child is introduced to the characters and background story too. It is a fun app for young children and allows then to work on fine motor skills, pattern recognition and problem solving as well as having fun! I’d recommend downloading this app if you have child from 2-5 years old, the free app includes Luise’s 3 games – Feed Luise, Uncover Luise and the Max puzzles. This will give you a good idea of whether the app is a good fit for your child and if it is $1.99 is a reasonable price for the full game unlock.

 

If you would like to download this app please use this link: Cheese Luise – Pixxadoo

App is free with IAP – currently $1.99

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Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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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.

 

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).



Maya the Bee: Flower Party by mixtvision DIGITAL – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

High quality 3D graphics and animation, fun but educational

What we’d love to see…

More songs in music section, ability to move guests around and feed them the party food.

Summary

A high quality, fun but educational app for pre-school age children. As they play they work on important skills such as matching, colors, numbers, size comparison, memory, puzzle solving and pre-writing skills.

Our Rating

GameIcon_abgerundet

Maya the Bee: Flower Party is a new edutainment app for children aged 3-6 years old from mixtvision DIGITAL. It is based on Maya the Bee TV, a long-running German television show and contains 6 mini-games starting Maya and her insect friends. It contains no adverts or in-app purchases and all external links are in a locked parents section. The parental gate uses a novel format where the adult is asked to press and hold named fruit in sequence. The app can be enjoyed in a choice of ten different languages including English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish and Turkish.

The app has a 3-D effect and uses high quality computer generated animation. Maya the Bee is having a party and she is waiting for her guests to arrive. The child can pan around to see all of the woodland scene and look for new arrivals. Many of the party guests bring their own game to play.

The Games are :

Make music with Maya, Flip and Ben

Maya, Flip and Ben are on the woodland stage and a drum beats in the background. There are four different instruments available for them : piano, guitar, violin/fiddle and a flower horn. The child can explore the effects of combining different instruments by giving them instruments to play. All three can play the same instrument to hear the harmonizing effect, or they can each play different ones. Sometimes if you give 2 characters the same instrument they will play it in different styles. There is only one tune played ( a jazzy version of three blind mice.) I’d love to have the option to switch between a few different tracks.
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Help Willy correctly serve the food

First the child unlocks food items by solving simple 3 piece puzzles, then they help Willy to serve the food by placing each item in the correct spot (which is marked by an outline of that food item). Once they have completed this level they can go back and play again and gradually more puzzle pieces are added to increase the challenge.

Play hide-and-seek with Lara

Some of Maya’s friends are hiding, spot them all and unlock gifts for the party. As well as working on their observation skills this game also gives the child an opportunity to learn the names of Maya’s friends.

Read Flip’s thoughts

Flip is thinking of different bubbles, and he also blows colored bubbles, some of these contain numbers. The child needs to pop the bubbles that are the same as the ones he is thinking of. This game works on concepts such as big and small, colors and number matching.
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Find the matching pairs in Ben’s game of memory

Ben is standing beside a big tulip plant and pairs of pictures of the insect friends are hiding in the flowers. Tapping on a flower opens it to show who is inside, and the child needs to find the matching pairs. The game starts with very few pictures to choose from and the number gradually increases as the child successfully completes more games.

Draw new party decorations

Maya wants to decorate for the party, to help her the child unlocks decorations by tracing around shapes, they can use a finger or a stylus and this is good pre-writing practice.

As well as the mini-games there are some hidden surprises in the wood too, my favorite is the frogs who sing if you tap on them, and you can harmonize them by tapping them in quick succession. Some of the party guests that are unlocked as rewards don’t seem to do very much, I’d love to see the ability to move them around the party and maybe even nibble on the party food that has been unlocked.

Overall, this is a high quality, fun but educational children’s app. It is most suited to pre-school age children, though kindergarteners may also enjoy it. The child is free to explore and play with whichever games they like, and as they play they work on important skills such as matching, colors, numbers, size comparison, memory, puzzle solving and pre-writing skills.

If you would like to download the app please use this link:

Maya the Bee: Flower Party
Maya the Bee: Flower Party
by Mixtvision Mediengesellschaft mbH

Category: Education, Games, Family
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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 766.95 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
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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.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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).

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