Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ebook App Review: Cinderella

Title: Cinderella
App Developer: Nosy Crow,
Version: 1.0.2 - September 14, 2011
Price: $5.99
Age Level: 3 years old and up
Available on iTunes
Compatible with iPhone, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
Features Read and Play * Read to Me * Read by Myself

I have been keeping an eye out for recommended book apps for children and when I saw this come up on a few lists, I had to check it out.  This is a common version of the Cinderella story with no unexpected twists and turns. 

I haven't had a chance to test this one out with a child, but I do look forward to sharing it with a few small friends.

Children have 3 options with this ebook app.

Read to Me-
The read feature provides both a visual and auditory reading experience.  The words are read aloud by the children narrators.  The pages turn automatically.  Children can use the blue arrow to move the story along or pull on a tab which allows them to select a scene.

Read and Play -
By clicking on this choice, the narrators read the story, but children have several places where they may click or interact with the pages.  A blue dot shows up on the center of a character and when you touch this the character has dialogue that s/he speaks.

Read by Myself -
When selecting this option, readers are given one of three choices - short, medium, or long - to indicate how long the text should appear.  However, even in short mode, it was present for a significant amount of time.  Additionally, the little blue dot that appears when a character has words to say is active in this mode. 


What I liked about this ebook app:
Illustrations - The illustrations were fun, bright, and entertaining.

Narrators - The story is narrated by children narrators which I really enjoyed.

Ease of use - Overall, the app was easy to use and figure out.

What I wish I could change about the ebook app:
Highlight text - For younger children having highlighted text is a benefit.  It provides them with a visual as to when the section has been read and can help them from turning the pages too quickly.

Delay at the beginning - There is a long delay from when you click on the app to when the book's main page appears.  During that time, the screen is completely black.  At first, I wasn't sure if it was frozen and I turned it off and then back on.  Since then I realized that I just need to be patient and it will eventually start.

Lack of consistent blue dots - Throughout the story a small blue dot will appear on a character.  If the reader touches it, the character will say a line of dialogue.  However, I found that often there is more dialogue than the blue dots would indicate.  If the blue dot is to be there, then it needs to be consistently present for every dialogue selection.  Also, touching the blue dot could make a character spin around or say a line of dialogue which seemed odd. 

Hints - Though there is a "help" button at the beginning, which gives tips for how to interact with the pages, there wasn't a hint button that directed readers to things that they might have missed.

Would I recommend it:
After playing with this app, I would recommend it.  Children who are already fans of Cinderella will love it.  

Here is the trailer for Cinderella:

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