Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival from Move On Pluto- Review

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival from Move On Pluto- Review



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What we love…

Ability to control the story, multiple stories in one, nostalgic feel to the app

What we’d love to see…

Text highlighting as it is read, page turn button, ability to change settings without returning to home page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving.

Our Rating

maxmeredith-1Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is the first interactive book app from indie developer  Move On Pluto. It is a “choose your own adventure” book where the reader makes decisions throughout the book, which affect the characters actions and what happens next. Music, sound effects, narration and text can be switched on or off via settings. Parents can choose to have interactive hotspots unlocked throughout the app, just in final storyline scenes, or no distractions. There is no word highlighting as the story is read.

Max lives in the town of Everdale, where one morning he awakes to find his trusty dog Percival is missing. Max rushes next door to enlist the help of his friend Meredith to find Percival. The story follows Max and Meredith’s search for Percival, but the duo have different ideas on the best way to find him. Max is more logical and cautious, whilst Meredith has an active imagination and likes to follow her hunches. The reader gets involved in the story by deciding what the duo should do next when Max and Meredith disagree.

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Depending on what decisions the reader makes the story goes in different directions. In total there are 8 different possible endings. When the reader reaches the end of the story they are shown a map illustrating how the different decisions create different story lines and endings, and are encouraged to read it again for a different story experience.

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The story is an old-fashioned adventure- the dynamic duo aim to solve a mystery, and to do so they have to work together to decide what to do. Meredith believes that an ogre lives near by in Gloomy Gulch and thinks he is responsible for Percival’s disappearance, so the friends have to decide whether or not they will face up to their fears and search Gloomy Gulch. What happens in the story depends on the choices the reader makes, so it really is multiple stories in one. Making different choices introduces new characters and situations, and creates totally different endings, which gives it lots of replay value. All the different story lines work well together, and there are no “right” or “wrong” choices, just different choices. By reading the story multiple times and making different decisions, the reader can find out more about Everdale and the characters who live there.

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The book app has a nostalgic feel about it, the illustrations and story lines feel like they would be at home in a “Little Golden Book.” Although the app has some interactive elements (about one per page) the main interactivity is in choosing the where the storyline will go. The multiple story lines add a fun element and increase the replay value of the app. Depending on which storyline is chosen Max and Meredith may have to face some potentially scary situations, but they find out that first impressions are not always correct, and that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

There are a few technical changes I would like to see in future updates. I would like to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read. Page turning currently via swiping, I’d like to have an option to use a page turn button instead. Swiping does give the feel of turning the pages of a book, but I find that some children, especially those with special needs, can find this difficult. The settings can only be accessed from the home page and although you can return to this at any time, doing so loses your place in the story, so I’d like to see setting accessible from every page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving. The developer recommends Max & Meredith for ages 2-7, I think that slightly older children will also enjoy it and my 9 year-old gave it a thumbs up.

 

iTunes Link

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival by Move On Pluto LLC

Price: $FREE

Winner of a Parents' Choice Approved Award

"A marvelous new storybook app ... backed by research of what is most effective in helping children comprehend, grow, and retain content while learning.

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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).
 An Adventure of Our Own – Review

An Adventure of Our Own – Review



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Frequent communication is key to strong parent-child relationship and here is an interesting way to get kids and their parents to interact while reading and playing together.

What we love…

Lots of decision making opportunities and open-ended questions to encourage parents and children’s full participation.

What we’d love to see…

A ‘read to me’ option and ability to save progress.

Summary

A great book app for parent-child interactions, providing readers with hours of imaginative play and valuable insights into the children’s minds.

Our Rating

An Adventure Of Our Own by Two Way Play is an interactive read and play book app for children and their parents (or other family members or even friends) to create their own adventure story together. While the sequence of events is fixed, readers build up the story by adding the details using the props (provided in-app) and their collective imagination.

The plot is jointly decided by the players and can change each time they play with the book. Right from the beginning of the story, the two players have to work together to flesh out their story. They begin by imagining and talk about what kind of emergency call they need to attend to. Different options are offered for each element in the story. While some aspects of the story (e.g. the setting and rescue plan) are agreed upon together, others are decided individually as each player select their own outfits, gadgets, vehicles and tools for their adventure.

There are lots of decision-making moments in this book and each comes with an open-ended question to encourage players to elaborate on their choices. This gave me valuable insights into my youngest son’s mind – his feelings, thoughts and the experiences that shaped his thinking. I was also careful not to impose my thoughts on his responses.

However, this story making session went on longer than what I had expected. I wish the app would allow me to save the progress of our story to be continued at the next session, instead of starting all over after we closed the app. Or perhaps give us a way to skip the earlier pages in the story as our choices before the rescue tools have no impact on the rest of the story. Also helpful if there are prompts on what actions are required on each page when there is no response from the players for a long time. For example, when players have to choose more than 1 item in order to move on to the next page. An added option for audio narration will also greatly benefit young readers playing with their friends.

While its simple illustrations (that look like children’s drawings), the minimal sound effects and animation allow players to focus on their collaboration itself, the app may come across as amateurish for those of us who are accustomed to more sophisticated book apps. Perhaps this is intentional.

Nonetheless, I like this new and meaningful way of sharing a read and play book app. My son likes the imaginative names of the various items in the story (e.g. seeing eye crystal and 3-wishes poof powder) as they give him all sorts of fun ideas on how to use them. Our story got more exciting because of them. The end of the story is unusual too as readers are asked about their feelings and thoughts on their adventure together. Helpful words like brave, clever, heroic, successful and tired are offered to facilitate the discussion. The app ends with yet another opportunity to talk – take another selfie, go to sleep or go on another adventure?

Overall, I recommend that you check it out. An Adventure of Our Own is a great book app for parent-child interactions, providing you with hours of imaginative play and valuable insights into your children’s minds.

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An Adventure Of Our Own

An Adventure Of Our Own An Adventure Of Our Own by Two Way Play
Category: Books, Education
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: 122.1 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.
 Roxy and the Ballerina Robot – Review

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot – Review



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There has been a dearth of book apps on families that are relevant to today’s world. This makes a simple and realistic story like Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC a rare treat for families who are looking for stories that their children can relate to personally.

What we love…

Characters and issues that young children can relate to personally.

What we’d love to see…

A more challenging task for unlocking access to external links. Perhaps using ‘Dad’ and ‘Mum’ in place of their names in the story.

Summary

Readers learn about wise money habits in this rare book app that promotes strong relationship in the modern family.

Our Rating

The story begins with Roxy’s desire to buy the newest toy, the Ballerina Robot after watching its commercial. She starts to save up and happily completes her daily chores to earn money in order to buy the toy. However, she got discouraged when she did not succeed and became angry. Sounds familiar? Your children will be eager to know how Roxy worked out a plan and succeeded in the end.

Children being influenced by toy commercials is a sign of the times that we all have to face. How do we teach our children how to deal with their wants, work towards their goals, resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward? This book offers you opportunities to discuss these modern day issues with your children and teach them important life values at the same time.

I like that this story presents strong and healthy family relationships which is important for any family configuration. Spending time together doing routine stuff provides the adults in the family with lots of teachable moments in a non-intimidating way. Roxy and her dad don’t just share fun times together but they have rough moments as well. Whatever the situation is, there is always communication between them.

My youngest enjoyed reading the story by himself and found it refreshingly different from the usual make-believe storybook apps that he is used to. I think he likes it because he can totally relate to Roxy. For younger readers, the book app comes with an option for audio narration and has the words highlighted in sync with the narration (available in English, Spanish and French). Furthermore, it allows readers to tap and hear individual words which helps them to learn new words. There is also a page menu that can take readers directly to any of the 28 pages in the story.

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to start a good personal habit like saving. In this story, Roxy becomes more aware about her impulsive spending habits and learns how she can be patient and in control of her money. So if you are planning to introduce (or reintroduce) your children to a saving habit, Roxy and the Ballerina Robot is the perfect book choice to help kick start it.

Get to know the author and the inspiration behind his book app in our interview with him here.

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Roxy and the Ballerina Robot

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC
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
Size: 117.63 MB

$1.99USD

 

 

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.
 One Present, Please by Rain Boot Media LLC – Review

One Present, Please by Rain Boot Media LLC – Review



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What we love…

beautifully illustrated original text perfect for Elfie to bring and share with my kids that had mini games and seven different presents to keep my kids engaged

What we’d love to see…

a way to lock out the presents so you can’t open them all at once as well as an “easy mode” for some of the hidden objects as my younger child would lose interest. I’d also love to see it tie into the “12 days of Christmas” theme as well.

Summary

Overall, this is a beautifully illustrated app which really reminded me of Christmas and the tempting urge to open my gifts before the “big day”! I also liked that it encouraged Jake to give back a special surprise at the end.

Our Rating

One Present, PleaseOne Present, Please by Rain Boot Media LLC is a universal app for iOS which has seven days of holiday fun that culminate in opening a new present each day with a gift.  This Christmas themed app includes an original, interactive storybook which includes a storyline about why Jake feels he should open the present and then the challenges he must complete to accomplish them.  You can either “read to yourself” or “read along” and have the text narrated by Jake and his mom.

The story features beautiful illustrations with a young Jake who has beautiful blue eyes and a grin as he tries to bargain with his mom to open a Christmas gift.  The app also has you searching for objects like a “pear on a chair” or a “fish on a dish” to find the first gift.  You can pinch and zoom to make the image larger to make it easier to find the hidden objects.  After you successfully complete the task you get to open the gift – complete with the sound of ripping paper. You turn the pages with a candy cane and as you find the hidden objects they turn purple in the scene. My older son’s favorite present was #2 since he got to play the piano.  The app does try to pace you and encourages one present a day, however, you can override this and open all seven presents in one day.

I loved the illustrations in the app as well as the storyline which appealed to both my 8 year old and 2 year old.   The mini games were a bit too challenging for my 2 year old, but his older brother was quick to help him.   The story also has a fun storyline and I liked the mini games sprinkled in which made the app fun to play like the piano and memory game as well as “playing” the present.  My older son’s favorite part of the app was that his friend Elfie brought it and he didn’t get into “trouble” that night.  Elfie has been making a lot of messes here – and I was excited to see him sitting on the iPad instead of in a pile of cotton balls or diving into the dirty laundry.  I also liked that my son really had to look to solve the hidden objects and complete the mini games.  The storyline was great too – especially when Jake gets a special gift that he can give to someone he loves at the end of the story.  I also liked the realistic narration in the app as they switched between Jake and his mom. I also liked that it made my son think critically as he looked for the hidden gifts.

 

In terms of enhancements, a few times my younger son would get frustrated with the mini games especially when we really had to look around to find a hidden object.  I also wish there was a way to “lock out” the app from being able to open all of the gifts in one day.  The topic of the app is limited to Christmas but it’s a perfect app to be able to install annually. My older son asked me why it didn’t match up to the 12 days of Christmas — he thought it would be fun to have a few additional stories instead of just a weeks’ worth.

Overall, this is a beautifully illustrated app which really reminded me of Christmas and the tempting urge to open my gifts before the “big day”!  This seemed to satisfy my older son from wanting to find his gifts as we looked for each of the objects in the hidden object and the bonus was that I didn’t have to clean up after Elfie for a few days.  Huge win!

One Present, Please
One Present, Please
by Rain Boot Media LLC

Category: Entertainment, Education
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
Size: 178.36 MB

$2.99USD

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.

 

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.

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