Blue Planet Tales Interactive Storybooks is a bookshelf type app that allows you to purchase additional content for your iOS device and teach children about a variety of history, science and other concepts. For purposes of this review we will be looking at Apollo 11, Men on the Moon. There is also a free book that is included so you can try it before purchasing additional in-app content. To read the purchased stories, simply tap on the library and the book will pop up. There are three play options, autoplay, read it to me and I have read it. The books are available in English and Spanish.
I thought that the Apollo 11, Men on the Moon story was historically accurate. In addition the graphics were fairly accurate, although the text did cover up the illustrations at times. One of my favorite things about the app was that there are questions within the story that test reading comprehension such as: who was the first human in space. who was the first president to support space travel. For each correct answer you are rewarded with a “all right”. There is some limited interactivity within the app on each of the pages, such as the ability to put the astronauts on the space shuttle with the actual sounds of the countdown. The app does reinforce learning within the story to ensure that people understand the story.
In terms of improvements, this app needs a parental gate to ensure that content is not purchased in error. Currently, you open a book either at the bottom of the screen or in the menu and it provides a direct iTunes link. For this reason, I would suggest turning off the ability to do in-app purchases on your device. I would also like to see word highlighting for emerging readers to help them more easily follow along. I also found at times in the autoplay mode that the text on the page did not match the narrator especially if you touched the page forward button. I would also like to see a one time in-app purchase that would unlock all the content of the app.
Note: There does seem to be a bug in the iOS 8.0 version but if you upgrade to iOS 8.1.1 it solves the crashing and need to restore the stories within the app.
Overall, this app does have great content which touches on a variety of historical events. The lack of a parental gate concerns me, however, the content does encourage learning among individuals both young and old. The illustrations are well done and the story pulls you in to learn more about historical events.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
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.