Delightful adaptation of the 1973 television special with special twists added for iOS. Inspires nostalgia, is fun but also reminds us of the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
This app treats the young and the old to a delightful rendition of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. We loved sharing it with our families and seeing the story brought to life in digital format. Well done!
When thinking of Thanksgiving with my family I have flashbacks to childhood memories of watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special on television. This brand new app for iOS from Loud Crow Interactive features the dialog, music and sound effects from the original special aired in 1973. The app features narration by Stephen Shea, the voice of Linus Van Pelt. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving can be read in three different modes: auto-play, read to me, and read myself. The app also includes word highlighting as it is read as well as touch to speak by tapping on specific words to have them re-read. In addition, children can collect leaves, touch and interact with the pages. The characters and objects bounce and wiggle as if on springs if you touch them, there are hidden sound effects, surprises and pull tabs which produce actions and bring the story to life.
The volume of the background music and sound effects can be independently adjusted. There is a page navigation tab allowing children to easily return to their favorite scenes. The app features a “ribbon style” page turning method where you slide your finger across the ribbon to move sequentially through the page until finishing the text, when the traditional page turn corner appears; this all happens automatically in auto-play allowing even the youngest reader to enjoy it. We liked that the parent lock required users to set a clock to a specific time before it would “unlock” the protected parent’s section.
This iOS app is true to the television special and brought back many memories as we shared it with our families. The story is interactive and enjoyable, even for for the youngest of readers just listening as it is read. For those unfamiliar with the story, through a mis-understanding Charlie Brown ends up with a bunch of uninvited guests for Thanksgiving, he can’t cook and is going to his Grandma’s for his own Thanksgiving dinner, so what is he to do? With the help of his friends he pulls together a rather non-traditional Thanksgiving meal. At first some of his guests are not impressed, but they all learn a valuable lesson about what is truly important about Thanksgiving. The interactions on the page bring the story to life and help to engage the readers as well as encouraging them to follow along with the story. There are leaves hidden on every page and we made it a game with our children to see who could find the leaf first, while listening to the story. Mary’s son especially liked all the pull tabs and discovering that if you repeatedly pulled the tabs you could get the animation to repeat quickly. Some of our favorite interactions included Snoopy throwing everything out of the garage when hunting for a table, setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner, making stacks of toast fly and popping popcorn.
This app, like the animated cartoon that inspired it, is sure to become a Thanksgiving classic. It is a great app on many fronts- it inspires nostalgia, and it is a lot of fun; but it also reminds us of what Thanksgiving should truly be about, to quote Marcie “We should be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by Thanksgiving Charlie Brown.”
In summary – this app treats the young and the old to a delightful rendition of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. We loved sharing it with our families and seeing the story brought to life in digital format. Well done!
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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.
simple story – similar to a board book designed for the youngest of listeners from baby through age three; beautiful illustrations
I rarely recommend an app for children under two, but this one is well adapted to the developmental needs of even the youngest listeners
An adorable black cat named Bean joins the app world after being introduced to toddlers in print in 1998. This is a precious series about a cat and “his” baby. We see Bean’s many ‘possessions’ … since anyone with a cat knows they ‘own’ everything in their environment. But in addition to Bean’s ball and his window, there is a baby introduced … so of course this will be Bean’s baby too. Cat and baby lovers will find this equally satisfying, as the timeless love affair begins between a real baby and the ‘baby’ of the household. Families will enjoy this book as they identify with the tension between a beloved pet and a new bundle of joy.
Author Sarah Hines Stephens shares this well-crafted story for the very youngest readers, with illustrations by Anna Grossnickle Hines. Anna’s illustrations can also be seen in another sweet book app, Not Without Bear. In print, this title was well-loved. It is pitch perfect for little fingers and ears, with a slow paced and simple story that begins with a single word, “Bean”, accompanied by an image of a beautiful black cat with green eyes.
This is not a riveting storyline … more akin to an early reader or board book. Very light animation and sound effects enhance the title in a very minimal way that is especially appropriate for young listeners. Lovely narration is optional, including word-for-word highlighting to enhance early literacy. The animation and interactivity could be more polished, but this title, created with Kwiksher software, is a great example of how to enhance a book for babies.
For audiences ages three and under, titles need to follow the motto of “less is more”. Bean’s Baby is a title that clearly took this advice to heart. When reading this book app with a young child, parents and caregivers can expect the minimal use of ‘bells and whistles’ to help kids focus on the main elements of the simple story. Books like this, in digital or print, are the backbone of building early literacy and for that reason alone, I highly recommend this title.
The temptation among many developers of children’s stories in the app world is to add everything possible, but in the end it can overwhelm and over-stimulate young readers. The Bean’s Baby series shows off a style that is spot on for developmentally appropriate reading in app form. This book is available (at time of review) for free, with additional titles available for $1.99, making this a very reasonably priced series to add to any digital library for babies & toddlers. I rarely recommend an app for children under two, but this one is well adapted to the developmental needs of even the youngest listeners. Recommended! –
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.
Great story, excellent features, plenty of reading and learning opportunities
What we’d love to see…
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A fantastic, feature-filled book that teaches children proper etiquette when dining out and appreciation of Mama’s hard work.
Oceanhouse Media continues to improve their already high quality reading apps. One of the new things I noticed is the child safety/parent control feature. On the bottom of the page are links to the OM Bookshelf, other OM apps, and parent info. However, in order to access external links, the app instructs the user to swipe the screen with two fingers either to the left, right, top, or bottom. The direction changes each time you try to access any of the links, making it more difficult for children to access areas they are not allowed to. Of courses if your child is a reader, they will figure this out easily so I still recommend activating your device’s parent control options. I have disabled in-app purchases on mine and always require a password for any App Store purchases or installations.
This app contains all the fantastic features Oceanhouse Media offers including the three reading options – Read To Me, Read by Myself, and Auto Play. Words are highlighted as they are read in the Read To Me and Auto Play option. When you tap on individual words, that specific word is highlighted and read out loud. Tapping on the picture on the page also causes the words associated with it to be highlighted or to pop-up and be read out loud. It is amazing how almost everything on every picture has a word associated with it. It definitely provides ample reading opportunities. My favorite feature would have to be the voice over option. Not only is it a wonderful tool to get a recording of your child’s voice and a great way to encourage verbalizations, but it also allows you to record multiple children and send the recordings to family and friends.
My children are Berenstain Bear fans and they absolutely loved this story. It’s funny how our dining out experiences mimic the Bears’, right down to things getting spilled and the kids busying themselves with drawing or coloring as they wait for their food. I also completely agree with the Bears that the best thing about eating out is not having to do dishes afterwards!
This is a fantastic book that highlights Mama Bear and her hard work and teaches children that manners and eating healthy still apply even when dining out. It is an absolute must-have to any Berenstain Bears collection.
Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
Pure nostalgia, a Halloween classic brought to life.
Update Oct 2013…
The developer has updated the app to remove IAPS and child-lock the Facebook buttons as we requested.
Overall, we really loved the book , it’s not quite as interactive as A Charlie Brown Christmas but its still a really fun seasonal book and already a favorite in our households.
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, from Canadian app developer Loud Crow Interactive, is a universal app and an adaptation of the classic Halloween story from Charles M. Schulz. If you are looking for a slice of Halloween nostalgia you need look no further. It has the original music, artwork and dialog from the TV Special and is narrated by Peter Robbins the original voice of Charlie Brown. You can switch the narration off, and control the background music level independently. The words are highlighted as it is read, and touching individual words makes them be spoken too.
The app opens to a old record player playing a record of the soundtrack and you then open a book to begin the story. The story is told as a pop-up book with animations and interactive elements. The story covers most of the story from the TV Special but without the scenes of Snoopy and the Red Baron. Linus jumps into the leaves, and Lucy pulls away Charlie Brown’s Football yet again. The main story centers around Linus’s belief in The Great Pumpkin. The gang goes out Trick Or Treating while Sally and Linus wait for The Great Pumpkin. As usual poor Charlie Brown ends up with a bag of rocks instead of candy and Linus has to wait another year to try to get a glimpse of The Great Pumpkin, but he never gives up hope.
The app has a number of interactive elements in it including falling leaves which you can touch to enlarge, getting Lucy to bob for apples, smashing pumpkins, collecting Halloween candy and playing the piano with Schroeder. The reader can also look out for bags of Halloween candy, and earn candy when they find them. They can also earn gold for successfully completing tasks within the app such as playing It’s a Long a Way to Tipperary correctly on the piano. It doesn’t have quite as many interactive elements as A Charlie Brown Christmas, but is still a fun adaptation. There is also an option to carve a pumpkin that then appears in the story, this is very cute and a fun activity for kids and they love seeing their pumpkin in the app. It does have a Facebook share button which has been childproofed in the recent update.
The other extra activity is the option of choosing an avatar that looks like a Peanuts Character and dressing him/her in a Halloween costume, the avatar then appears in costume in the story. This could be a really wonderful addition to the app as the kids love dressing him up and seeing him appear in the story. There is a huge variety of costumes available, these were originally available as an in-app purchase but the developer has now removed the IAP and all costumes are now free.
We loved this interactive storybook book when it first appeared in October 2012, but did not like the fact it had a lot of in-app purchases and unprotected social media links and downgraded its star rating to reflect that. We would like to applaud Loud Crow for listening to customer feedback and removing the IAPs and child proofing the external links. With these changes it is truly a 5-star app, pure nostalgia, a Halloween classic brought to life. A classic Halloween app that the whole family will enjoy !
If you would like to buy it please use the link provided:
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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