We read at our house — a lot. Most of it for the kids is reading done for school. In fact we have to use one of those reading programs where we need to track minutes to earn rewards beyond the required 15-20 minutes every day. In other words, its required reading and not “just for fun” reading that happens a lot. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is grab a book to read. That said, I know we’re in the minority, and getting kids to enjoy reading is beyond critical. It’s something that I strive to keep fun for them.
I read a lot, too, and I’ve started to read more and more books on my iPad via my local library’s checkout program. The wee ones have seen me doing this, and they’ll ask to read books on my iPad, too. I don’t let them often, simply because I – ahem – need my iPad.
I recently had a chance to download two interactive books from VivaBook (you’re going to get a chance too because we are having a giveaway!). These are more than just a book! The wee ones were thrilled. We downloaded Around the World with Lilup and Nickelby Swift: Kitten Catastrophe. There are other interactive apps available, including Lewis Carroll’s Jaberwocky (which Mister Man repeatedly asked me to purchase). They are also releasing additional titles shortly such as When Rabbit and Fox Were Friends, Robin Hood, and the Velveteen Rabbit and more.
Around the World with Lilup
Around the World with Lilup seems to be aimed more at the preschool age, as it is a very simple story about a dog who flies around the world, meeting new friends and interacting with them. Lilup flies behind an owl and more. The neatest part of the app is that your child gets to make all the interactions happen. Each page has a different set of possible activities like sliding polar bears across the ice on the screen to tilting the screen so that Lilup flies higher or lower. I gave the wee ones no instructions when I handed over the iPad, and they were able to figure it out themselves, something that to me is key when you design apps for children.
Personally, I enjoyed Nickelby Swift more, as it was a sillier story with an actual plot to it — more so than Lilup. That said, the interactions were more entertaining in my mind, as well. You can zap the doctor and have him electrocuted as he works with an invention or swing the arms of the Clean-O-Matic, although my favorite was the potato peeling machine. The most impressive part in my eyes? The potato peeler actually decreased the visible potato in the machine in proportion to what was peeled. Once it had peeled the whole potato, there was no potato left. That detail in the animation I thought was pretty cool. And the wee ones do, too.
The apps come with three ways to read them. You can read to yourself (perfect for those who are more advanced readers or when you need quiet), the book can read to you, or you can record the book and have it read in your voice. As you record, you drag your finger over each word as you say it, so that when the book is read to you – either prerecorded or in your voice – the word that is being spoken moves and changes color, which is a great way to help kids improve their literacy, don’t you think? I can just see recording this for a child before a trip so that the child can listen to your voice whenever he wants.
I will say that I was concerned that the wee ones would read the books once and be done with them. They aren’t. In fact, we had a playdate where the wee ones insisted on showing their friends the oh-so-cool book they could read on my iPad. And this morning again, Mister Man asked if he could read Nickelby Swift after he finished working on his book report.
These apps can be purchased from Itunes for $3.99 each. Want to learn more? Watch this video about Viva Book.
Enter to win
One winner will receive their very own copy of both of these apps to enjoy with your wee ones! To enter the giveaway, tell us what you think about interactive book apps like Viva Book.
This giveaway will end on January 31st and a winner will be chosen and announced on the following Sunday in the Around the Blogosphere post.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received codes to download Nickelby Swift and Around the World with Lilup to my iPad for review purposes. All opinions remain my own.
Michelle just finished yet another book on her iPad, so she doesn’t have an excuse to keep the wee ones from borrowing it to read their books right now. Instead, she’ll be posting on her blog Honest & Truly! or maybe just hanging out on Twitter where you can find her as @honestandtruly.