“Both these story apps have the balance between Story and special effects just right.”
The latest review from Australian children book reviewer “The Book Chook” reminds us of the long term value of our technology in encouraging kids to read, and to enjoy reading.
“Lynley Dodd’s stories have been beguiling generations of children for many years, so I love that developers, Kiwa Digital, have come up with another format to continue the tradition.
Both these story apps have the balance between Story and special effects just right. Story should always be paramount, something I wish more movie directors could learn! Yes, children can touch Scarface and hear him miaow, but the bells and whistles are at a minimum, allowing the story itself to shine.
Dodd’s illustrations are just as lively and lovely in an electronic version!
Kiwa have taken advantage of the interactivity that’s possible in a digital tool: while kids listen to the story read aloud, the print follows the narrator’s voice, lighting up each word as it’s read. I believe this develops phonemic awareness, helping kids see the sound to symbol correspondence.
Kids will love the extra activities too. They can colour in pages from the books and share them, record themselves reading aloud, and touch one part of an illustration to get a response. Parents will be thrilled that Hairy Maclary also has a sign language feature, and also with the fact that there are so many more books by Dodd available.
Like all apps, children will get the most from these by sharing them with an adult. They would be great to load on a phone/iPad for those inevitable queue moments, and make excellent companions to their print counterparts.”