Balloon Kingdom – An interactive adventure book for kids, families and educators by Comicorp – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

beautiful illustrations, ability to engage with the pages to find the balloon and a interactive story which encourages imagination

What we’d love to see…

a way to make the text bigger and a way to keep the clouds from hiding the text

Summary

Well illustrated picture book that encourages kids to look beyond the ordinary and use their imagination, features narration, pictures and interaction including a find the balloon game.

Our Rating

Balloon Kingdom - An interactive adventure book for kids, families and educatorsCasper is a little boy who has a fantastic imagination, one that includes a world of Balloons.  Balloon Kingdom is an interactive adventure type picture book for kids written by ComiCorp for iOS.  The app features Casper who plays a little boy who has an active imagination.  Casper meets an old man who has a cart full of balloons, he speaks to the man and tells him that he loves that balloons that float in the air while everything else remains on the ground.  He gives Casper a large balloon which has powers to bring him to places including the balloon kingdom.  This picture book app is designed for early elementary school aged children and includes voice narration as well as the ability to read it to yourself.  While reading the book there is a mission to find the balloon on each page which encourages children to engage with the story, each page has elements you can touch ranging from drums to play to flying with the balloons.  Casper’s sister and parents are a bit concerned about his visits to the Balloon Kingdom and ask him if it is his active imagination or if it is real.  Casper tells the balloon one day that he won’t play with him any more and that he’s not “real” and closes his curtains to the balloon. He sends him away during a rainstorm and begins to miss him and begins to lose his imagination.  Suddenly the balloon peddler comes back and offers him another balloon.

Casper and his balloon friend have wonderful adventures in a variety of places including the Balloon Kingdom which changes slightly each time they visit.  My son especially liked the “balloon swinging trees” and the “balloon maze”.  The illustrations and variety of interactions like drumming, moving the balloons are fun and and encourage children to not only listen to the story, but to participate in it.

In terms of enhancements, I found that the text was a bit small on my device and I would have loved a way to make it larger.  Also, at times, the text “hid” the text a bit as well as the interactive elements on the page.  At the bottom is a arrow, which my son kept touching which brings you forward and back and provides a page by page overview of the story.  I wish that for younger kids there was a way to put it elsewhere on the page, as my son touched it several times in error.  My son also wished there was a page which had the balloon kingdom where he could navigate and explore in a map format.  My son also wished there was a place where he could see his collected balloons from the story.

This is a fun interactive picture book which encourages kids to use their imagination and realize that all that they imagine could come true in the story.  It also has an underlying theme of friendship.  The book delighted my seven year old who has gone on some “adventures” of his own in the balloon kingdom.

Balloon Kingdom - An interactive adventure book for kids, families and educators
Balloon Kingdom - An interactive adventure book for kids, families and educators
by Comicorp

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
Size: 487.49 MB

$1.99USD

Screenshots
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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.

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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.


Achoo Gaboo – Interactive Kids Book by Pixure Books Publishing – Review



iPad Screenshot 4

What we love…

the interactivity, the narration and the overall moral of the story

What we’d love to see…

a happier final ending

Summary

Enjoyable picture book that encouraged interaction within the story

Our Rating

Achoo Gaboo is a universal app for iOS and is  created by a company called ‘Pixure Book Publishing‘ and illustrations by Timothy Banks. They make educational and imaginative reading apps for children of pre-school age.

My 19 month old daughter is so engaged when I play this storybook app to her. It took about 4 attempts at playing it before she first sat down long enough to follow the story. After this her interest in it grew. I liked the app as soon as I played it from start to finish myself as the music was fun,
the sotry was imaginative, and the graphics were vibrant. Even with my old and clunky iPad and the movements were smooth and the colours really popped out. I liked that there were various ways to interact such as tapping to pop bubbles, sliding right to left to turn to the next page and
tapping in certain pages to move on. I found that I could play it over and over to myself and not get bored. My daughter very much likes books and I’d even go so far as to say she likes books better than toys. This app ticked the boxes in terms of being very engaging even though it took a little while to get her to sit down with it.

If I’m honest I think that at 19 months, my daughter is a little too young to fully grasp the interactive features. She loved the fact that I could pop
the bubbles and the highs and lows of the song but she was cautious that sometimes it got loud when Gaboo sneezed like a trumpet. She kept her distance from the iPad during those times, only touching it once or twice after being prompted. Although she’ll now sit through the whole story, concentrating and soaking it all up, she’s been quite reluctant to interact with it any further. Possibly in another 6-12 months when her speech is a little more developed she can tell me why she’s hesitant of it. The book was very blue as a colour palette and although I don’t mind, I felt maybe it may appeal more to boys. It wasn’t a soft and cuddly type of book with cuddly characters; cute and bubbly – yes, but not particularly cuddly. My daughter is a girly girl even though I make no attempts to encourage her to be like that. Possible the colours could be softened a little more in the colour palette and that would help make the story more appealing to her.

The monkey in the app was sad at the point when Gaboo couldn’t shake his hiccups and it made my daughter a little sad. I’d love it if the monkey didn’t look so fed up and if Gaboo was generally happier. It would be nice to have a more upbeat story but the same level of interaction possible. Although in saying this I think it is generally just a happy book.

I shouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did but as a big kid myself, I really got into it. It is aimed at 2-5 year olds and maybe at around 2 or 2.5 years old, my daughter will be more curious and more interested in the activities. I also really enjoyed the illustrations! Great job Pixure Book Publishing and great job to Timothy Banks for the illustrations (I love to paint and can appreciate all the intricate detail in the graphics).

Overall, it’s a great app; it’s short enough to keep the attention of a child, whilst having enough interactivity to keep them coming back. I’ll be showing it to my 6 year old niece as I think she’s a bit more tech-savvy and so will love the interaction. I would definitely purchase an app like this as long as it’s sold at a reasonable price (which this is).



Achoo Gaboo - Read & Play Achoo Gaboo - Read & Play by Pixure Books Publishing

Price: $2.99 USD

GOLD MEDAL - Moms Choice Awards

Achoo Gaboo is an interactive story for early readers about a clumsy elephant with a sneezing fit that won't quit. Every time Gaboo achoos, kids can pop the rainbow.


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Fola is a thirty-something new mum and new wife. I moved from London to Wales about 6 years ago to in pursuit of happiness and I'm excited to say that I made the best decision possible. I began blogging privately during my pregnancy as means of encouraging myself through some of the tough times and also to create a diary for my now daughter, to show her how importance she was even then. After giving birth I began searching for advice on how to raise my daughter, (tips, tricks as well as general support) whilst balancing my career ambitions and social life. I sought inspiration from the blogging community and earlier on this year I took a leap of faith and began my own public blog in the hope that other women and men could walk a mile in my shoes and get some inspiration for their daily lives.


Duh Color Stuff By Chameleon eBooks – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

critical thinking, ability to solve a puzzle in a choose your own adventure format, encouraging children to read, underlying friendship theme

What we’d love to see…

ability to change the color of the box the print is in at the bottom of the story (it can be hard to read)

Summary

Great app with a choose your own adventure theme and readers will love choosing their own adventure and solving the mystery.  My son kept reading it over and over again to find all the endings.

Our Rating

 

Neighborhood Watch Kids and Duh Color Stuff™ is an app designed for the elementary school aged child in a “choose your own adventure” format about five children Arnold, Maya, Johnny, Suzie, Billy and their pet dog Paw as they save the world.  The app starts off letting you choose either “I can read” or “read it to me” and then encourages you to pick an avatar from one of the children to follow along in the story.  The story starts off in Pinedale, Wisconsin in a town called Watch.  The story includes 10 different games, 16 different decision points in the story, and 21 different story endings for a total of 280 pages!  The target audience for the app is age 7 to 11, although I would say that it is best suited for a child who has finished first grade.  The story features both male and female characters as well as diverse characters which helps again bring home the message about working together no matter what.

Johnny and his pet dog Paw go to the park and overhear adults talking about vandalism where he is presented with his first decision.  After making the decision to talk to Arnold, Johnny and he decide to search the playground for clues.  By tapping on the screen, you are able to play the first mini game which turns up footprints, a blue print and an ice cream shop flier.  Johnny and Arnold find a tree house where they can put the clues up on the board to try to put the various puzzle pieces together.  Arnold and Johnny form a friendship and work together to put more items on the tree house and then head to the ice cream shop to try to solve the mystery. where they meet Susie and learn that the ice cream shop has had a theft as well.  My son had a bit of trouble finding the objects, but the positive “you are almost there”  and clue with the arrow finally helped him find the final clue. After the first two mini games, my son discovered a pattern with two of the items being found during the mini games – “footprints!”  The book encourages kids to get help when they need to which encourages them to make the right decision.  My son also noticed a theme of “sand” in each of the puzzles which I thought was great for him to notice.

I liked that the avatar you choose kept your place in the story due to the fact that all the decisions contained within the book, reading out of the text and mini games can take upward of an hour, which is quite a long time to play with a reading app.  My son and I tested this over the course of two sessions before completing it.   I also liked that the app encouraged cooperation with others to encourage success and completion.  It also targeted critical thinking as it encouraged kids to look at something and then follow through on solving the problem.  I also liked that it presented kids with three different choices and forced kids to make a decision before moving on.  I liked that the app encouraged them to think about the decision and what the consequences might be of a decision to the story. The underlying theme of friendship, working with others no matter what their race or ethnicity was a good one and I loved how everyone worked together to solve the mystery.

In terms of enhancements, at times it was a little bit hard to see the text that was being read from the book so it would be nice if the box color could be adjusted. I’d also like to see a bit more help with some of the mini puzzles – I explained how to break the screen down into a grid when tapping but he did have a hard time finding some of the clues.  Also, having the clues at the bottom to look for the right shape is important especially for kids to encourage them to stay engaged with the app.  I’d love to see word highlighting – this is aimed at older kids but it would allow them to be more “independent” readers as well as a guide that explains “do not do this at home” since many of the activities are ones I would put off limits for my seven year old.

Enjoy a beautifully illustrated digital book with appealing animations and sounds.  My son asked me if we could “read again” to finish the mystery and see if making different decisions created a different ending.  There are no external links, in-app purchases or social media links.  This is a great app that encourages reading with a choose your own adventure theme and will engage kids beyond just reading the words on the page.  By inviting them to become detectives, they become engaged and want to be an active part of the story which in turn encourages more comprehension and engagement.  This book can engage even the most reluctant of readers and has lots of options to read it over and over again.


The Watch Kids - K12 Life Skills and Good Habits
The Watch Kids - K12 Life Skills and Good Habits
by Guy Sharon

Category: Education, Games, Adventure
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
Size: 996.82 MB

$4.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Google Play


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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.


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.

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