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.
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.
Max & 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
beautiful illustrations, music and fun story which encourages kids to use their imaginations as well as the tale of friendship
What we’d love to see…
ability to turn off the sound with the exception of the narration, collection spot for the stars and items that have been found through the story
My son hopes that there will be more Snot & Fluff adventures to see them journey through the galaxy now that they are back together. He can’t wait to see what additional imaginative adventures that the two come up with on their journey!
Snot & Fluff by Onhnostudio is a whimsical space themed adventure story where Spot dreams of journey’s and Fluff is a cook testing new recipes. The two are good friends and Snot decides to go on a space adventure to see if he can learn more about the galaxy who catches a comet with a lasso and gets ready for his adventure! Unfortunately, Snot forgot to leave Fluff a note, and set off on his journey. Fluff begins to get worried when he sees Snot fly away without his friend on the comet and he gets very sad about thoughts of losing his friend. Fluff begins to tidy the cottage and decides to put together a space rocket to find Fluff – but he does improvise a bit while building it using his culinary creations including sticky custard to put the pieces together. The app is designed for preschool through early elementary school and is gender neutral and appealed to both boys and girls when I tested it with them. You can also page through and skip pages in the book to move to your favorite portion of the story.
I love the beautiful illustrations of the book as well as the interactive elements and music on each page. Some of the pages have mini puzzles like performing a series of tasks or collecting hidden stars (there are 88) to unlock a hidden page at the end of the book! I also loved the imagination that was used throughout the story like using sticky custard to put together the space ship which was both smart and a great way to improvise to get the space ship put together. My son also liked the hands that turned the pages. Snot also goes on a mission to find a missing key for the pirates and after accomplishing the mission begins to miss his friend Fluff and his great desserts. The book has a theme of friendship as Snot and Fluff try to reunite. The book is narrated and you can repeat the audio by tapping on the page after it is completed. I also loved all the plays on words like “King Jelly”, “Broccoli Bandits”. Snot heads to the Candinext planet to rescue his friend Fluff and the two are reunited! Fluff is there making sweets and is very happy to see his friend. Fluff tries to fix the kings missing horn – a task many have failed at and been put into jail using one of his confectionery creations which is successful!
In terms of improvements, my son asked for a counter or somewhere to keep his stars that he collected as well as the items that Snot lost including the pipe organ. I would like a way to turn off the sounds/narration if a child didn’t want to hear them and wanted to simply focus on the text, currently I turned down my device but that meant that my son couldn’t hear the story.
There are external links including to the app store, but they are protected with a parental gate. The story is available to be read and narrated in English, Polish, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish.
My son hopes that there will be more Snot & Fluff adventures to see them journey through the galaxy now that they are back together. He’s currently busy drawing his own intergalactic adventure and wants to know the secret of the Broccoli Bandits! This is a fun and imaginative book that encourages kids to touch and solve puzzles throughout the story and reunites the two friends Snot & Fluff.
Words highlighted in sync with the narration to encourage read along.
A 2-in-1 math and rhyming story book app, double the learning, double the fun!
In the story, the jungle animals are given various tasks to prepare a party to celebrate their elephant friend’s escape from the circus. These tasks are actually math activities involving logical sequence, shape/size/number sequence, visual and spatial perception, counting, comparison of quantities, puzzles, simple addition and subtraction.
There are altogether 9 chapters in the story, each with a different math activity. On the first reading, your child has to complete the math questions at the end of each chapter in order to unlock the next. However, upon unlocking all the chapters, it is difficult to know which is the next chapter as readers are automatically brought to the chapter menu. An option to advance to the next chapter or return to the chapter menu at the end of each chapter would be ideal here.
The math questions are different each time they are replayed. With sufficient practice, the learning goals that have been achieved will be highlighted in your child’s progress found in the protected Parent’s Area. Each learning goal is also explained here.
What appealed to me most in this app is how the math activities are made meaningful for the kids to do. For example, instead of completing a random logical sequence game, kids are actually trying to decorate the jungle with a festoon that follows a particular sequence. To position the elephant ballerinas for a performance, kids have to arrange them according to their size. I also like that the addition questions involved adding different types of objects together instead of the usual task of adding the same type of objects.
Math Tales – The Jungle could be your preschooler’s first experience with a chapter book and one that is told in rhymes. It would be a refreshing change for our young learners. Completing fun math activities in between chapters also breaks the monotony and keeps them engaged. My son loved the encouraging comments on how well he was doing and he enjoyed the story just as much as the math activities.
Even though the math games are the highlights here, the story itself offers great learning opportunities as well. I especially like the message for children to reflect and be good at the end of the story. Educational and meaningful, Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids gives your child more learning while they are having fun.
bright, colorful engaging illustrations, fun interactive elements, games
What we’d love to see…
Tweaking of difficulty levels in toy matching game.
A high quality, fun, engaging and different Christmas app that combines a story, interactive elements and fun games, recommended for kids from 4-10.
The Witch With No Name is busy preparing for her favorite holiday……. Halloween. But wait! I thought this was a Christmas story ? Well the Witch is interrupted in her preparations by a call for help from her friend Peepo the Elf who has been training as a present wrapper in Santa’s workshop. Peepo is desperate for help, a strange illness has affected Santa and his elves leaving them all sound asleep, and Christmas preparations have ground to a halt.
The Witch is torn as to what to do, she knows nothing about Christmas and really wants to stay to complete her Halloween preparations, but decides she must go as her friend needs her. The Witch and Peepo explore Lapland and with her magic try to put everything to rights. As they work to save Christmas the reader helps them through a series of fun, interactive games.
Readers practice their maths skills when building a snowman, sort letters alphabetically and use their memory skills to put toys together correctly. My favorite game is helping Santa’s reindeer slim down by running them on an obstacle course after they over-indulge, be sure to avoid the potato chips! There are lots of other fun interactions and games too – and your child even gets to wake up Santa!
There are 3 different difficulty levels so that the games can be enjoyed by children of different ages from pre-school to late elementary school age. However, even on easy setting the toy matching game may be a little hard for the younger players as the toy disappears from view as soon as they start working to match it. It would be nice to see an option to leave the toy visible on the screen if they are having remembering how to assemble it.
As the Witch works to save Christmas she wants to learn what Christmas is really about sets out to discover what Christmas Spirit really is. Santa thanks her for all her help and sends her home with a letter- will she finally find out what the Christmas Spirit is? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
As in all the books in the Witch with No Name series this story has bright, colorful engaging illustrations with lots of fun interactive elements hidden on each page. The app can be enjoyed in English, French or German, and there are read by myself or read to me options. A page navigation guide makes it easy for readers to return to their favorite pages. My twin 3rd graders love The Witch with No Name and enjoyed this seasonal addition to the serie.
The Witch and the Christmas Spirit by Slim Cricket is a high quality, fun, engaging and different Christmas app that combines story, interactive elements and fun games. Recommended for ages 4-10, the app is free to download with a single in-app purchase to unlock the full app, the IAP is $3.99
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