My Cat at Home in the Wild by Jennifer Rogala- Review and Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Hand painted illustrations, how the book shows the parallels between domestic and wild cat behavior.

What we’d love to see…

Word highlighting as it is read, options to turn off narration and background music

Summary

This book app featuring a house cat called Kingsley and a variety of wild felines will be a hit with young animal lovers. The story does not have any interactivity but does feature an interactive game, puzzles and an opportunity to learn more about wild cats.

Our Rating

My Cat At Home In The Wild My Cat at Home in the Wild is the first book app from children’s author Jennifer Rogala and is based on her print book of the same name. It is accompanied by hand painted illustrations from artist Dwight Kirkland. As well as the story the book also includes some extras-  a game, jigsaw puzzles, and information about big cats. The story does not contain any interactive elements- it is more like an eBook, all the interactive elements are in the extras. The story is narrated, there is no “read by myself” option. I really like the background music – it has a slow drumbeat and haunting feel, that reminds me of Native American music. The narration and music can not be switched off without muting the iPad.

The story introduces the reader to a grey tabby named Kingsley. Kingsley is an indoor city cat, but her owner imagines that she dreams of being in the forest, jungle or savannah like her wild cousins. The story tells us not only about Kingsley’s daily life, activities and quirks but also about wild cats who do similar things. e.g. “She climbs the curtains, like a snow leopard climbing the icy mountains of Asia.” At the start of the book each page is accompanied by a painting of Kingsley, as the story progresses many of the illustrations are split screen showing both Kingsley and one of her wild cousins behaving similarly.

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I liked the parallels the book draws between wild and domestic cats, the peaceful background music and the hand painted illustrations. I would like to see some options added to support emerging readers- word highlighting as it is read and ability to switch off the narration. I also felt that the narration seemed rushed at times, so I’d like it read at a sightly more relaxed pace. Much as I like the background music it would be good to be able to lower it or switch it off for children who find background music distracting.

Extras

In the story children are introduced to a whole range of wild felines including familiar ones and others that may be new to them. If their interest is piqued they can learn more in the “Big Cats” section. This has a picture, information and sound recording for eight types of wild cats featured in the book: lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, pumas, servals and caracals.

iPad Screenshot 4

Game

The reader is shown a picture of Kingsley from the book and challenged to find the matching picture of a wild cat doing a similar action. This is a fun activity and also acts to reinforce what the reader has learned in the story –  the names of the wild cats and their behavior. There are 15 pictures to match.

iPad Screenshot 3

Puzzles

Each of the 15 pictures can also be enjoyed as a 32 piece puzzle. The pieces automatically are in the correct orientation and click into place when put in the right spot. This is a fun extra but it would be nice to see an option to vary the number of pieces so that it can be enjoyed by a wider age range, as it may be hard for some of the youngest readers.

iPad Screenshot 5

Summary

My Cat at Home in the Wild is designed for children from 4-8 years old. I think it will appeal most to 3-6 year olds, but slightly older animal lovers will also enjoy it. It features Kingsley, a house cat, and a variety of wild felines, and will be a hit with young animal lovers. It features beautiful hand painted illustrations and a haunting background music track. I like how the book shows the parallels between domestic and wild cat behavior. The story does not have any interactivity but does feature an interactive game, puzzles and an opportunity to learn more about wild cats. It would be nice to see some features added to support emerging readers.

 

iTunes Link: My Cat At Home In The Wild – Jennifer Rogala

My Cat At Home In The Wild My Cat At Home In The Wild by Jennifer Rogala

Price: $0.99 USD

Four Stars from TheiMum.com and Digital-Storytime.com. “Will be a hit with young readers... the book shows the parallels between domestic and wild cat behavior.”

From igamemom.com “It is .

Giveaway

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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).



Toad Sues God by iKidsReads – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

the animals work together to solve a problem, fun illustrations and word highlighting

What we’d love to see…

Parental area which houses all of the links, ability to have the words come back after the action when being narrated

Summary

It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.

Our Rating

Toad Sues GodToad Sues God by iKidsReads is a universal picture book app for iOS featuring a folktale from Vietnam about a frog who grinds their teeth and rain.  The story features four animals: frog, fox, bear and tiger.  After successfully capturing each of the four animals that God has released via the gates, Toad is given an audience with him.  Toad shares the story about how there is no rain in his area and God discovers that the rain manager has been playing rather than giving rain to the animals via the dragons.  God tells Toad if it does not rain, he must just grind his teeth and he will make it rain and does not need to return.  The book features two modes, read to me and read to myself.  With the read to me option, as the words are read they are highlighted which is good for emerging readers.  Navigation within the app is simple with a swipe, and there are four icons at the bottom of each page: a house which returns you to the main screen, a book with arrows which allows you to pick a page, a child face which means you can toggle between the “read to me” and “read to myself” mode, a video camera which shows a movie with the interaction to the page, and a box that allows you to make the words appear and disappear in the read to myself mode.

Toad is very clever and brings animals with him when he goes to visit God.  When they arrive, Toad goes to hit a drum outside of the kingdom while the other animals hide in the bushes.  An angel comes to see who is hitting the drum and discovers that Toad is hitting on it – he reports back to God who sends out chickens that are captured by fox.  Then a dog is sent to deal with fox only to be caught by bear, and Tiger scares away the guards.  The book contains 15 pages with narration and word highlighting as well as animation on each page.

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I liked that the story had a moral to it – that showed that children should not give up or be discouraged and they should work together to solve a problem. It also shows that animals are an important part of the ecosystem to help keep our world working well.  The illustrations are cute as well and typical of what you would see in a fable.  I liked the complexity of the parental gate which included both regular and negative numbers as well as multiplication which ensures kids didn’t get into an area they were not supposed to. The app has a parental gate – you solve a math problem and then it unlocks external links which include iTunes and the internet.  The math problem is multi-part and unlikely to be solved by younger children which is a huge plus!  My son enjoyed pressing the camera button so he could see the animation over and over again.

In terms of enhancements, I found that some of the narration sounded a bit “hollow”.  I’d also like to see more interactivity on the pages, currently if you are in the “read to me mode” and want to go back and hear the story again on the page or tap on a specific word it is not read aloud a second or even third time. The words disappear on the page after it is read aloud but do come back after a period of time, I’d like to see it so that the words would stay or allow you to tap on them, or to make it do the action again.  It would also be nice if there was a parental area where you could turn on and off the various icons as well as hiding the links.  It might also be fun if there was a last page which featured the moral/song of the story.

Overall, this was a cute fable about a Toad who stands up to God to get rain to come to their part of the world.  It isn’t scary per se for younger kids, although I would say the title of the app is a bit of a misnomer given that there’s no courts or lawsuit in fact involved.  It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.


Toad Sues God
Toad Sues God
by iTruyenTranh

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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76
Size: 33.89 MB

$1.99USD

Screenshots
(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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.



Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games – Review



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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games is a delightful animal story book which cleverly incorporates different types of math exercises to show how math can be found everywhere, even in the jungle.

What we love…

Age-appropriate math activities within a story.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration to encourage read along.

Summary

A 2-in-1 math and rhyming story book app, double the learning, double the fun!

Our Rating

In the story, the jungle animals are given various tasks to prepare a party to celebrate their elephant friend’s escape from the circus. These tasks are actually math activities involving logical sequence, shape/size/number sequence, visual and spatial perception, counting, comparison of quantities, puzzles, simple addition and subtraction.

There are altogether 9 chapters in the story, each with a different math activity. On the first reading, your child has to complete the math questions at the end of each chapter in order to unlock the next. However, upon unlocking all the chapters, it is difficult to know which is the next chapter as readers are automatically brought to the chapter menu. An option to advance to the next chapter or return to the chapter menu at the end of each chapter would be ideal here.

The math questions are different each time they are replayed. With sufficient practice, the learning goals that have been achieved will be highlighted in your child’s progress found in the protected Parent’s Area. Each learning goal is also explained here.

What appealed to me most in this app is how the math activities are made meaningful for the kids to do. For example, instead of completing a random logical sequence game, kids are actually trying to decorate the jungle with a festoon that follows a particular sequence. To position the elephant ballerinas for a performance, kids have to arrange them according to their size. I also like that the addition questions involved adding different types of objects together instead of the usual task of adding the same type of objects.

Math Tales – The Jungle could be your preschooler’s first experience with a chapter book and one that is told in rhymes. It would be a refreshing change for our young learners. Completing fun math activities in between chapters also breaks the monotony and keeps them engaged. My son loved the encouraging comments on how well he was doing and he enjoyed the story just as much as the math activities.

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Even though the math games are the highlights here, the story itself offers great learning opportunities as well. I especially like the message for children to reflect and be good at the end of the story. Educational and meaningful, Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids gives your child more learning while they are having fun.

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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids

Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids by Marshmallow Games
Category: Education, Games, Family
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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76
Size: 170.39 MB

$2.99USD

 

 

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.



Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box – Review



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What we love…

The variety of photos and videos featured for each animal.

What we’d love to see…

More animals to be included.

Summary

Packed full with interesting features for learning and entertainment, Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards keeps kids engaged with more content and fun than most animal learning apps.

Our Rating

Are flashcards bad for young children? There are many arguments for and against using flashcards but from my experience, flashcards can be an effective learning tool when the learning is active and it is supplemented by other interactive activities.

In this post, I will review an animal flashcard app that does more than just digitalizing the traditional flashcards. Unlike many flashcards apps in the App Store, Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box is a comprehensive flashcard app that offers your child 4 different ways (Explore, Sound, Video and Game) to learn about 14 forest animals, supported by a host of customizable options.

Using animations, transitions, animal icons, high quality sound recordings, real life photos and video clips, your children will learn the animal facts, names and sounds of the skunk, squirrel, hedgehog, racoon, bear, monkey, lemur, wolf, ape, black punter, panda, tiger, fox and koala. For each of these animals, there are at least 6 different HD photos e.g. single, plural, close-up, baby and/or mother and baby, many of them showing different species.

Though the images are called flashcards here, you don’t actually flash the cards. Kids are the ones who are in control – they pick what animals they want to explore from the main screen and they learn at their own pace. The app is very easy for them to use and all outside links are locked behind parental gates.

The only section that children require the help of adults are the pre-selected animal videos which need internet connection to access. Again, the app presents more than 1 video per animal to show how the animals behave in a variety of habitats.

Besides the learning of facts, there are also games where learners are asked to identify the animals by the name, sound or both. These games encourage the recalling of the knowledge learnt and these help strengthen the associations made about the animals.

To keep young learners engaged, this app adds a variety of fun features as well – animal icons, themes, shuffle and weather wheel. Kids can explore the forest animals by their animated icons, realistic icons or silhouettes and in 2 different themes – Spotlight (a clean theme with no distractions that is perfect for children needing help with focus) and Nature Box (for those who want to explore the look and feel of the animal’s natural environment).

They can also use the shuffle feature to mix up the positions of the animal icons in the Explore and Game modes so that the app always look different. The interactive weather wheel, on the other hand, allows learners to spin and explore the different weather conditions (sunshine, snowfall, rainfall, wind blow, mist & fog, thunder).

And that is not all! Your children will also get to enjoy the ability to change the app character, Cucu’s animal outfit (tiger, panda, koala or bear), his skin tone, eye and hair color. You can further personalize their learning experience in Peekabox-Forest with its many customizable options.

So many features and so affordable, Peekabox-Forest packs more content and fun to keep your kids engaged in learning. It is well worth a download if you are looking for a forest animal learning app.

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Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards

Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box
Category: Education, Reference
Requirements: Compatible with 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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76
Size: 131.19 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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