Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper by Gazoob – Review



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What we love…

Entertaining and humorous stories on a variety of topics that hold children’s interest.

What we’d love to see…

Easy access from each comprehension question to the relevant page in the story for a quick reference and pictorial hints or answer options for younger children.

Summary

This is the reading program to go to if you are looking for high interest books that build confident and keen readers. Having the books in an app makes them more accessible and interactive to young readers.

Our Rating

If there is one thing that I can never refuse my kids, it’s their frequent requests to buy books to read. With 4 kids with different interests, you can imagine how many books and magazines we have at home! But this is a good problem to have. They love to read and I love to see them read.

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One reading program that had significant impact on their reading ability and love for reading is the Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper (RBCK) Series, from the Oxford Reading Tree (UK’s number one reading program). My older kids loved to read them (used in their Kindergarten) when they were younger and now my youngest loves them too. I like that the RBCK series have books that teach reading, encourage imagination and satisfy curiosity. I especially like the stories that bring them to different interesting places (like the Palace, Ice City, a Chinese restaurant) and the Magic Key adventures to the desert, mountain, snowy forest, etc. When I got to know that I can find this series in an app, I was so excited that I asked to review the app.

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The RBCK app includes a total of 48 interactive eBooks from the Biff, Chip & Kipper Levels 1-6 Collection. There are 4 First Stories and 4 Phonics eBooks in each level. Each book starts by introducing the words or sounds that kids will learn, and some tips for parents to read together with their children. Then the readers will have to choose between 3 reading modes (Read by Myself, Read to Me and Autoplay). There is read-along text highlighting in the ‘Read to Me’ mode but even in the ‘Read by Myself’ mode, your child can have the app read any word by tapping the word or read a whole sentence by pressing and holding the words. Instructions, questions and speech bubbles can all be read by the app and this allows children to enjoy and learn from the books independently.

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Then there are interactive spots which add sound effects to the story and at the end of each book, there are a few comprehension questions to get kids to talk about the story plus a fun interactive activity (e.g. matching games, odd-one-out, maze, spot-the-differences, rhyming games) that is related to the story. Just for fun, readers can also collect objects related to the story from the pages like butterflies, shells, animals and mini monsters. These extra features definitely make the app more accessible and interactive compared to the paper books.

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This series bring to schools and homes the best of both reading by sight and reading with phonics approaches with stories and characters that appeal to young readers. Key words are repeated throughout the book and each subsequent levels build upon what has been learnt before.

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I own a few wonderful book series but there is something about the RBCK series that is keeping my youngest interested for longer than usual. After watching him read a few of his favorite RBCK books, I realized that it’s the humor and silly things that the adults in the stories do that had him captivated. He frequently seeks out this app to read on his iPod and has read all of the 48 books! This alone is enough reason for me to recommend the RBCK series to anyone who is looking for a high interest, high quality yet affordable reading series that build keen and confident readers. Used in many schools all over the world, it is an effective reading program that you can trust. Check out the video below and download the Free Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Library to enjoy 2 free books right away!!

The complete series of 48 eBooks are on sale at $28.99, down from $64.99 for a limited time. At less than 50 cents per book, this is definitely a bargain you don’t want to miss!

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Read with Biff Chip & Kipper. The complete series: All 48 books. – Gazoob

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Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Library (FREE to download)
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Level 1 – Getting ready to read. Age 4-5 years
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Level 2 – Starting to read. Age 4-5 years
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Level 3 – Becoming a reader. Age 4-5 years
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Levels 1-3
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Level 4 – Developing as a reader. Age 5-6 years
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Level 5 – Building confidence as a reader. Age 5-6 years
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Level 6 – Reading with confidence. Age 5-6 years
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Levels 4-6

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for Read with Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Levels 4-6 (24 books), please enter via the widget below. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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.



In The Wild! Cat in the Hat Learning Library Collection By Oceanhouse Media- Review + Giveaway




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What we love…

comprehensive set of zoology books, educational and entertaining, great set of
features for beginning and experienced readers alike

What we’d love to see…

can’t think of anything to add or change, it’s great!

Summary

An outstanding collection of four books that will educate and entertain animal lovers
and budding zoologists.

Our Rating

 

In The Wild! Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)In The Wild is Oceanhouse Media’s newest and best Cat in The Hat Learning Library collection yet! It is a perfect set of four books that will get children excited about zoology, just in time for the new school year.

Safari, So Good! is a brand new book and is currently found exclusively with this collection. Children will take a journey deep in the jungles of Africa to learn more about familiar animals like elephants, cheetahs, rhinos. They will also meet unfamiliar ones that may surprise them like the kudu and the sickle horned sable.

If I Ran the Rainforest is an exciting book where children will discover that there are different kinds of rainforests. They will also learn that rainforests have four levels. They will explore each of those levels in depth from the top down and get to know some of rainforest’s colorful and lively residents. This book also touches briefly on the importance of preservation.

On Beyond Bugs! takes children down to the world of insects. They will learn about all kinds of bugs including those known as pests. They will learn that insects have various defense mechanisms including camouflage, scents, and bright colors. They will also learn about pollination and how bees play an important role in the life of a flower.

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Miles and Miles of Reptiles will get the children up close and personal with crocodiles. alligators, lizards, snakes, and turtles. They will learn that there are more lizards than any other kind of reptile and will probably discover ones they never knew existed before. They will learn a lot of things about reptiles including how to distinguish an alligator from a crocodile.

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All four books provide a wealth of information. Even adults may discover things they never knew before. For example, did you know that cheetah cubs sometimes play soccer with elephant poop? Yes, that got my kids laughing out loud too! The books also introduce new words like transpiration, epiphytes, and chelonians. They even teach how to pronounce these unfamiliar words. They are like science text books, but ten times the fun.

In The Wild includes all of Oceanhouse Media’s fantastic features such as text highlighting, voice recording, and tappable words and objects. It comes with two reading options: read to me and read it myself. Parental controls are provided to keep young children from accessing external links to the web and the App Store.
In The Wild! is easily this summer’s best app release. It is an outstanding collection of books that exemplify a perfect combination of fun and learning. Children will absolutely love it and I am sure the adults will to. I give this my top recommendation.

In The Wild! Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) – Oceanhouse Media

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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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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.



Epic! – Books for Kids Subscription eBook Library By Epic! Creations Inc- Review




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What we love…

Over 2,000 books, reading log, incentives to read, well-known authors, personal book recommendations, ability to read offline.

What we’d love to see…

Even more new books, search option

Summary

Digital equivalent of having a personal library of thousands of kids books ready to be read and enjoyed with the added bonus of a reading log and reward system

Our Rating

Epic! - Books for Kids Epic! is a subscription  ebook service for children aged 12 and under. The Palo Alto based developer has teamed up with some big names in children’s book publishing including Kids Can Press, Lerner Publishing Group, Open Road Integrated Media, and Simon & Schuster to create Epic!  A 1 month free trial is available after that a subscription is $9.99 per month or $79.99 a year. Epic! says it currently has over 2,000 titles (I didn’t count them!) with plans to add more every month. It includes both Fiction and Non-Fiction books.

The app has a password protected parents area, this contains social media and email links; some of these links are also in the settings area of the individual profiles, to access them you must enter a birth year. From the parents area you can create up to 4 reader profiles, check your subscription status, and clear your cache if you are running short on space.

Each family member can customize their own avatar for their account, and as they read they can unlock more avatar options and earn badges. In setting up the profiles you can choose from 4 reading age levels: 4 & under, 5-7. 8-10 and 11-12.

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The user interface reminds me of Netflix, and within each player’s profile you can browse and see a different selection of books. At the top are  the book of the week and other highlighted books e.g. for Easter Week Bunny books are in the spotlight; then books you have recently read; then books recommended for you followed by a variety of categories e.g. Picture books, Non-Fiction, Historical, Fantasy, Adventure and Graphic Novels. Whenever you select a book it shows the suggested Reading Age inside the front cover, alongside a brief synopsis of the book.

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As you browse through the bookshelves you can mark books as favorites to make them easy to find, read them now, or download to read offline. These are not book apps- they don’t have any interactive elements, music, sound effects or narration; they are ebooks  – faithful digital reproductions of print book that contain the original text and illustrations. Having this app is not like having a bunch of book apps but instead like having a home library of thousands of print books that you can take with you wherever you go. I really like the ability to read offline as that way I can stock up with books before we are traveling and can use them in places without internet such as in the car or on a plane. When reading with an internet connection it was nice to be able to read instantly rather than waiting for a book to download; though I did find in my twins bedroom, where the internet connection is slow, that I couldn’t read the picture books too quickly or the next page wouldn’t be loaded when we turned the page.

My six-year-old twins are really enjoying all the books they can choose from and I like the fact that each child has their own profile and that the available books cover a wide age range. For reluctant readers the rewards may act as an incentive to get them reading more. As a parent I really appreciate the fact it keeps a daily record of books read, and minutes reading each book,  it makes keeping their school reading logs up-to-date so much easier!

The book selection is really good especially for the younger ages , there doesn’t seem to be quite as big a selection for the 11-12 year-olds. My kids like to see familiar names such as Olivia, Click Clack Moo, Henry and Mudge, and The Boxcar Children but also enjoy discovering the many new books in the app. When reading you can zoom in the see more details and can read full-screen in either portrait (single page) or landscape (double page) mode.

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Overall, I  really love this app but there is one thing I’d like to see added and that is a search option. It would be great to be able to search for favorite authors or for a particular topic and if you find one book your child enjoys to see if there are others by the same author available.

I would heartily recommend trying out Epic! to see if it is a good fit for your family. If you are looking for book apps with lots of interactions and narration this collection is probably not for you. However, if you are looking for the digital equivalent of having a personal library of thousands of kids books ready to be read and enjoyed with the added bonus of a reading log and reward system for reading then this is a great choice. Epic! is positioning itself to be the Children’s Book equivalent of Netflix, much as Oyster is for adult books. Although it has nowhere near as many titles as Oyster’s over 200, ooo , it does have by far the largest collection of well-known books I’ve seen in a children’s subscription book app. Ultimately I think Epic!’s long term success or failure will depend on it’s ability to keep growing its collection of titles so that the app remains fresh and interesting, I think if they deliver on their promise to keep continually adding more quality content they will have a hit on their hands.

The app is free to download but to access the library you must subscribe -there is a 1 month free trial after that it is $9.99 per month or $79.99 for an annual subscription, you can switch off auto-renew in your iPad settings.
Epic! – Books for Kids – Epic! Creations Inc

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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).



Outside Your Door! Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media – Review and Giveaway



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What we love…

Very educational, provides a ton of information without being overwhelming, entertaining read.

What we’d love to see…

None, I love it as it is!

Summary

A collection of four books that will get children excited about trees, plants, butterflies, and birds.

Our Rating

Do you want get your kids excited to spend some time outdoors, not just to run and play, but also to explore, make discoveries, and take in all the beauty and wonder that nature has to offer? Then you’ll definitely want to get them Outside Your Door! a Dr. Seuss Learning Library Collection by Oceanhouse Media. It includes four books: I Can Name 50 Trees Today!, Oh Say Can You Seed, My, Oh My – A Butterfly!, and Fine Feathered Friends.

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In I Can Name 50 Trees Today! children will learn to identify trees by the leaf and bark features. They will learn about tree parts and their function. They will also learn some fascinating facts about trees from all over the world. In Oh Say Can You Seed, children will take a look inside a seed and discover what a seed is and does. They will learn about the parts of a plant, parts of a flower, and how they all work together to help the plant grow and reproduce. They will also learn about the different ways plants are used and how they help us. In My, Oh My – A Butterfly! children will study the life cycle of a butterfly, distinguish between moths and butterflies, and find out how different butterflies got their names. In Fine Feathered Friends, children will take a look at various birds, their features, and their habits.

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Outside Your Door! has two reading options: Read To Me and Read It Myself. It also has all the wonderful features found in Oceanhouse Media apps such as text highlighting, voice recording, tappable words and pictures, and movable objects. It enhances the learning experience with interactive diagrams and bold words that give more detailed information, including definitions, when clicked. There are external links, but they can only be accessed by following a specific direction written in a pop-up box.

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This collection of books is a terrific supplement to science lessons. They are sure to be loved by children from preschool to early elementary. By the time they finished reading these books, your children will be asking you for a blank journal so they can collect leaves, keep track of the birds and butterflies they see, and maybe even draw some interesting plants or seeds they come across. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

 

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Outside Your Door! Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) – Oceanhouse Media

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Easter App Sale

Was $3.99 now $0.99
The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule
The Berenstain Bears Go to Sunday School
The Berenstain Bears Faithful Friends
The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You!
The Berenstain Bears Discover God’s Creation
All other titles in the Berenstain Bears series are $1 off.

The Berenstain Bears Discover God's Creation The Berenstain Bears Discover God's Creation by Oceanhouse Media

Price: $3.99 USD

"And God saw it was good." —Genesis 1:10

Join the Berenstain Bears in this interactive Christian book app as Mama Bear decides to pull the plug on the family's television, encouraging the cubs.

Was $1.99 now $0.99

Happy Easter, Little Critter Happy Easter, Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media

Price: $0.99 USD

----- 50% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME -----

Join Little Critter and his family in this interactive book app as they celebrate Easter! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story.

Introductory price, will be $2.99

Alphabet of Insects Alphabet of Insects by Oceanhouse Media

Price: $1.99 USD

----- 33% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME -----

** Winner of Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice Award **

Explore a world of bugs and bees with this one-of-a-kind Alphabet of Insects digital.

Was $14.99 now $7.99

The Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection #1 The Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection #1 by Oceanhouse Media

Price: $19.99 USD

Dive into 7 exciting Berenstain Bears Living Lights book apps that help young readers learn how God wants them to live every day! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with.

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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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.

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