Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Two New iTunes eBooks From SkyReader - Robo Buddy and Coyote's Tale

SkyReader (a division of Skywriter Media) is a company that publishes mobile apps for Apple iPad.  They have just added interactive story book apps to their line up.  I recently had the chance to review two of the stories, and they are really cute!

These two are both suited for early or pre-reading children.  There are three reading modes.  Auto, which will read the book and turn the pages, requiring no input.  Read to Me will read the story as speech bubbles appear on the screen allowing for word recognition.  The reader will need to turn the pages by sliding their finger across the page.  Read Myself is what you'd expect.  The words will appear on the screen and need to be read by the user.

In all the modes, there are interactive features, so be sure to touch all over the screens!  By doing this, you will both see and hear special enhancements.   If you swipe upward on the page, you'll see a menu with all the pages, and you can skip to the pages you like the best., or change your story mode.  The sound effects, music and animations are very well done.  Children should really enjoy these books, which were previously only available to educators.   Now they may be purchased from iTunes for $2.99.

Another nice feature is that the stories begin by stating the title, a short story summary and an introduction to the characters.  At the end, parents will find "Notes for Literacy Learning" which contain ideas for improving reading skills and comprehension.

Coyote's Tale (by Boldprint Kids) is a very cute story based on a Mexican folk tale.  The hungry coyote thinks he has had a great bit of luck when he comes across Rabbit at dinner time.

Read the story to see if Rabbit can get out of his predicament.

The moral - to always keep you wits, and never give up - comes across nicely while entertaining the readers.

The interactive features keep it fun.

Robo Buddy (also by Boldprint Kids) is set in the future.  It introduces us to Dexter and his family.  Dexter has a best friend and helper, Robo Buddy.  When Dexter wakes up one day to find Robo Buddy missing, he is very upset.  Nothing seems to go right after that!   The locater computer can't even find Robo Buddy.

The good news is, Robo Buddy does turn up.  But his arrival is a bit of a mess.

With the same great music, animation, interactive features, and reading options, 5-9 year old young readers (especially boys!) will have fun with this one.

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I was given these apps in exchange for this review.  I was not paid to write this post and my opinions are my own.