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Alphabet Animals: A Slide-and-Peek Adventure from Apps by Auryn – Review

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Alphabet Animals: A Slide-and-Peek Adventure from Apps by Auryn is based on a book with the same name, published in June 2008, written and illustrated by Suse Macdonald. Suse Macdonald is the author of several children’s books including Caldecott Honor Award winner Alphabatics and National Parenting Publication Award winner Nanta’s Lion.

Alphabet Animals is beautifully illustrated and adds a brilliant twist to your typical abc book by having animals drawn in the shape of the letter their names begin with. It is also done in the classic pull-out book format. Pulling or sliding the page reveals the letter the animal represents. It also moves the animal’s position just a little bit so that you can see the animal’s letter shape even clearer. Tap anywhere in the animal page to hear it’s name. Tap anywhere in the letter page to hear the alphabet. To move on to the next page, you either swipe the screen to flip the book or tap on one of the letters on the bottom of the screen. You can also turn the background music on or off.

There is also a “game” included. The game is very simple. You type your name or any name you wish and then pick the animal that matches each of your letters. If the animal does not match the letter, the animal is automatically rejected. Once you correctly match all the letters you end up with a name art, confetti pops up on the screen, and you hear an applause. It then takes you to a page where you can change your border and either save or share your name art via email. While I think the artwork is cute and it helps children begin to recognize their letters, it is in my opinion, not as much a game as it is something fun to do. A matching or memory activity that generates random letters and animals each time would add a great deal to game play.

I would like to see the names of the animals written out, perhaps with the beginning letter in bold or larger font than the rest of the rest of the letters. Having the animals make sounds would be be great addition as well. I would also like to hear the sound the letter makes. Another thing I would like to see changed is the pop-out instructions. If you stay idle for over 5 seconds, instructions pop up on the screen. I think that instructions should only pop-up once, more than that and it becomes intrusive. Besides, this app is likely to be played by a child who cannot read yet, which would make the instructions only beneficial for the parent.

Overall, this is a beautiful app well suited for babies and toddlers who are just learning their letters. The animals, along with the slide-and-peek feature, will undoubtedly capture their interest. The name art is co cute, I want to print them out and frame them. Hmmm, I think I will!

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