I don’t usually review books here on Literacy Toolbox. Instead I tend to save book reviews for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. More often than not, as I read a picture book, I read it with an educator frame. In other words, how can I use this book in the classroom? And so, books I review tend to find themselves on my educator blog.
However, I have come across several books lately that I feel parents would find helpful as well. So, this month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share books or apps that I have recently read and/or played with my kids.
Wild About Books App
Since we purchased our iPhones several years ago, I have been on the lookout for great, quality book apps to entertain my children in times when we must wait somewhere. Then we purchased our iPad and I continued the search. It’s been slow going. I have very specific criteria I look for in e-books for my children. I want them to be interactive, but provide as much of a natural reading experience as it can. I want the book to entertain and engage them in their reading. I really prefer that they are quality picture books that I would read to my children anyway.
My children are very particular, too. If it doesn’t grab their attention, it’s usually not an app that they will go back to. Many of the apps they do return to have some kind of interactive/game component. I don’t think that the e-book will ever “replace” the traditional book for my children, but I do think that it’s important for them to understand and learn how to navigate the e-book experience.
I was already familiar with the How Rocket Learned to Read app, when I came upon the Wild About Books app, both by Random House Children’s Books. My friend, Susan (@bookchook), wrote a fantastic post about picture books and how important they are to readers and embedded in the post was a video of the Wild About Books app, which I promptly downloaded. The app is $2.99 which to me is completely reasonable! I have the hardback version of the book as well, which I’m sure cost me at least $14.00.
The story is another great way to motivate readers. What happens when Ms. McGrew drives her bookmobile into the zoo? Why the animals learn to read of course – and love to read, too!
The Wild About Books app is the electronic version of Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown. This app is a bit simpler in that it doesn’t have corresponding games, like How Rocket Learned to Read. It is just the book. However, you can have the book read to you, or you can read it yourself. The fantastic part of the electronic version of this book is that it really brings the traditional book alive. The illustrations, amazing in the traditional book, move and pop in the electronic version. Children can click on different parts of the illustrations and make different animal sounds or make them move. They can hear the train whistle or the bookmobile’s horn honk.
If you have a reader who needs a little motivation, consider downloading this app. Your child will have fun interacting with the story, as it is being read to him. Or, encourage him to read the book himself. The next time you are stuck somewhere, you will have a quality picture book for your child to read. The fact of the matter is, prior to downloading either Wild About Books or How Rocket Learned to Read, I had already purchased the traditional books. I’m perfectly happy to purchase both if the books are high quality. Both of these picture books are and so are their electronic counterparts!
I want my children to be able to download quality books for our iPad or iPhone. Up until now, I have not been happy with the quality of books available for children. I have been patiently waiting for children’s book publishers to create book apps for the iPad and iPhone. I’m glad the day is finally here. I hope more publishers will jump on the bandwagon.
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