Boy and the Seagull by Oleksandr Ronzhyn (Haibude) – Review



What we love…

the beautiful watercolour artwork throughout the app

What we’d love to see…

the option of having the story be read out to the reader (narration)

Summary

beautiful illustrations, puzzles and interactive parts throughout the story and comes in five different languages

Our Rating

Boy and the Seagull

Boy and the Seagull is a charming story of a boy and his friend the Seagull. This app is great for children under 5 and easy for little hands to use.

The story begins in a beautiful coastal town where a Seagull and his seagull friends live. One day, the Seagull saw a small boy looking at him through a window and so it flew down to the boy. Their friendship grew stronger from that day onwards. One morning, the Seagull visited the boy and told him he was leaving for Seagull Island. Because the boy could not fly with him, the Seagull told the boy to use his mind in order to imagine the journey to the island. Through a series of fascinating encounters the small boy meets underwater friends on his quest to the island.

This story is filled with beautiful watercolour artwork, simple sound effects that bring the story to life and a peaceful background music. Little ones can interact with flying seagulls, running clouds, crawling seashells, swimming fish, a jumping whale, colourful boats, move a boat along the ocean, walk on a giant octopus, fly a stingray or change the day to night. The story also comes with seven simple puzzles that little ones will enjoy and will help them to engage them into the story.

The app is available in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German and Ukrainian, which is an added bonus. Being bilingual in both English and French, I try to read to my daughter in both languages and this story is a perfect way for her to listen to the same story in two different languages. This app does not come with in-app purchases or ads which brings piece of mind especially when reading with young children.

The only thing that would make this app perfect is if the story was read out as the text is shown on screen.

Overall, we love this beautiful and calming story which is ideal for a bedtime story or some quiet story time.


Boy and the Seagull Boy and the Seagull by Oleksandr Ronzhyn
Category: Education, Games, Family
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
Size: 55.96 MB

$1.99USD

Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Reading Train Endless Books, Songs & Games – School Readers by The Learning Station – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

the trains make reading a fun game for little ones; the books and illustrations are simple but effective.

What we’d love to see…

a main menu that is easier to follow and a progressive system with regards to the reading levels.

Summary

Easy to use app that reinforces early learning skills related to reading with fun games and books

Our Rating

Reading Train Endless Books, Songs & Games - School ReadersReading Train Endless Books, Songs & Games – School Readers by The Learning Station is a digital library of over 200+ picture books kids can read and record created by Libby Curran, educator and author of award winning books.  The Reading Train is a great concept for children from the get go. Once you have setup your child’s user account, they can get onboard the reading train and start learning! There is a large collection of reading books to choose from, some covering colours, animals, life science, shapes, maths etc all categorised and covered at three different reading levels.

To access any books, you need to choose a reading level by selecting the level 1, 2 or 3 train. Once a level is chosen, you can pick a book theme off a train cart for example ‘animals’. Once you have chosen from the ‘animals’ range of books, you can pick your book of choice i.e Wild animals, Sea animals, Pets, Farm animals etc. Each book has easy navigation and options to either listen to the book, read the book by yourself, record yourself reading the book or tap on individual words to listen to those. You also have the option to listen to a definition of that word as well. Each book demonstrates new words through the use of simple yet effective stories and illustrations.

Once the child has read the book, they can read about the new words they have just learned and complete a set of quiz questions (spelling, comprehension, phonics etc.) to test their understanding of the book and earn books for their virtual bookshelf, a word crate and coins to use within the app. Children can also listen to and record song books in the music store by spending coins they earned during quizzes.

Even though my daughter is too young to reap the full benefits of this app, she was still interested in tapping along at the images to listen to the words in the books and dance along to the song books.

The main menu is slightly confusing with trains passing by and lots of options to choose from. I wish the menu was setup differently and children were only able to go on one train level at a time. This would ensure that content is covered across books and that they meet the required level before getting onto the next levels. Parents can monitor their child’s reading progress by entering a special grown-ups area which is controlled by a shape test which should be replaced by a simple maths test to make it harder for kids to enter. This version of the app has no in-app purchases which is comforting.

Overall this app is a fantastic learning tool for kids who are starting to learn how to read and for school kids too. It is fun, resourceful and very well designed with lots of instructions and prompts to follow. An easier menu and a reading progression system would make this app perfect!

Reading Train Full STEAM Ahead Books, Songs, Games
Reading Train Full STEAM Ahead Books, Songs, Games
by The Learning Station, LLC

Category: Education, Books
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: 406.2 MB

$14.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Butterfly Kisses by Cathy Lane- Review + Giveaway




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Beautiful colorful illustrations, fun interactions, sound effects, professional narration, word higlighting, and extra activities

What we’d love to see…

It is great as it is.

Summary

This is a beautiful app book suitable for pre-school through early elementary school age children. It is a colorful romp through a child’s imagination, enhanced with realistic sound effects, fun interactive elements, animation and professional narration with word highlighting. A delightful book app, highly recommended.

Our Rating

Butterfly Kisses by Cathy Lane Butterfly Kisses is an adorable interactive book app based on the print book of the same name by Australian author Cathy Lane. The illustrations have been completely re-done for the app and are based on paper sculptures. The app has ‘Read by Myself’, and ‘Read to Me’ options. It is narrated by Australian actress Tracy Mann, with word highlighting as it is read. Background noises and animal sound effects can be switched off in settings. The app is totally child-friendly with no external links, adverts or in-app purchases.

The story is told in rhyming verse and is illustrated with beautiful paper collage illustrations reminiscent of Eric Carle.

A young girl is getting ready for bed with her collection of stuffed animals, and she wonders “Who gives the very best goodnight kiss?” The reader is taken on a colorful tour through her imagination as she thinks about how each of her animals would kiss, before ultimately concluding that the best of all is a Butterfly Kiss.

iPhone Screenshot 5

 

Each page has beautiful colorful illustrations, realistic sound effects and interactive elements that enhance the story. On every page is a ladybug- touching it triggers all the animations on the page, which can be helpful for younger readers. A red butterfly appears on every page, and touching it pulls up the page navigation screen so a child can easily return to a favorite page.

iPhone Screenshot 3

At the end of the story are some extra activities- a Tiger Puzzle and an invitation to try writing an illustrating your own extra page for the story.  If you visit the Author’s Website you can also download 3 free PDF books with additional craft, drawing and educational activities based on the story.

This is a beautiful app book suitable for pre-school through early elementary school age children. It is calm and gentle enough to make a great bedtime story, but can also be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is a colorful romp through a child’s imagination, enhanced with realistic sound effects, fun interactive elements, animation and professional narration with word highlighting. A delightful book app, highly recommended.

Facebook

Twitter
iTunes link: Butterfly Kisses by Cathy Lane – Cathy Lane Studios

Butterfly Kisses by Cathy Lane Butterfly Kisses by Cathy Lane by Cathy Lane Studios

Price: $2.99 USD

***** Gold Mom's Choice Award- Honoring Excellence.
Butterfly Kisses, those gentle fluttering of eyelashes on cheek, are the ultimate focus of this playful bedtime romp through the animal kingdom. .

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).


Your Child Saves Christmas by Penwizard Ltd – Review



iPad Screenshot 4

What we love…

story that features your child on Christmas Eve in a journey to the North Pole to help Santa be successful after the present machine breaks down

What we’d love to see…

narration of text, parental gate to hide the twitter and email button, a “help” option if a child has trouble with the animation

Summary

Interactive storybook app featuring your child in their own version of a Christmas tale and helping Santa Claus to save Christmas.

Our Rating

Your Child Saves ChristmasYour Child Saves Christmas by Penwizard Ltd is an iPad only app designed for iOS.  The storybook takes what was formerly a print book and turns it into an interactive experience with your child.  When opening the story, you first create a character.  This character can be personalized with a name, glasses or not, pajama color, gender, hair style, hair color and skin color.  When you go back into the app you can either choose to use the same character again or create another which makes it great for multiple children to use.  The app does use the  UK spelling for several items including pyjama and Santa Clause within the app.  In the story the words appear on the screen along with your character and you can do a number of interactions including building a snowman,

My son loved the fact that he could make an avatar that looked like him – complete with glasses and that his characters name was mentioned in the story.  That made it much more special and helped to engage him in the story.  He loved “flying” through the sky on the way to the North Pole with Eggnog and especially enjoyed sorting the presents.  the app features hand drawn illustrations and each animation has a golden circle that goes around it.  Once the action is completed you can move on to the next page.  My son’s absolute favorite animation was flying the reindeer and making Santa say “Ho, Ho, Ho”.

In terms of enhancements I would like to see a narration option in the book especially for the younger audience and perhaps having the ability to darken the text which at times was very light (in a white) across various backgrounds.  At times it did seem like the animations took a long time, especially the presents coming out of the present machine for the animation to finish which led to a little bit of frustration on the part of my son who was eager to start sorting gifts and didn’t place the gift in the bag perfectly the first time.  In addition, it was also unclear to my why the “air drop” button was on the pages of the app.  This should be behind a parental gate as it has pre-made tweets and the ability to email if you have those set up on your device.  There is also an arrow at the top of the page which when tapped can bring you back to the start of the app.  I do also wish you could “paste” a face of your child within the app as it would inspire them to realize it really was them inside the story.

Beautifully illustrated app perfect for the holidays which features your child within the story performing a number of activities and even wishes them a Merry Christmas night at the end.  This is a great app to read with your children and having their name and avatar included makes them feel like they truly are part of the story.

Your Child Saves Christmas – Penwizard Ltd

by

Price: $

.

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.

Pin It on Pinterest