Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mini Fish Tale

Mini Fish Tale was created by Bakul Books. It's an e-book about a girl who receives 2 fish for her birthday and one dies and she needs to figure out what to do to make the lonely fish happy. It also includes closing and puzzle activities with marine life trivia aside from the e-book. Price: Free

Device Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Developmental Appropriateness: This is a simple and very basic story and e-book. The only "extra" features are narration and text highlighting. While there is no problem with that, I do have some slight problems with this book, especially when it comes to promoting literacy. First, the text highlighting is not accurate. It does not highlight when the words are spoken. Second, there are a couple of grammatical errors in the text. The main one being "fishes", which appears multiple times. Plural forms of words is something that young kids tend to over generalize and can be confusing given all the exceptions in the English language. As an e-book presented in English, it's very important to get these basics correct because kids pick these things up. 

What I DO like are the extra activities. The coloring and puzzles may seem like a standard addition nowadays, but what they've added here are some facts to go along with the picture. Although some of the facts could be reworded to be more kid-friendly, it's a nice way to extend the learning. I wish there was more. Rating: 2/5 (aim for around 4 years of age).

Balance: Everything is simple here. the activities are kept separate form the story. The pictures are colorful, but I wonder if that's enough to keep kids engaged in an otherwise bare story. Rating: 4/5

Sustainability: I think adding the activities with the facts was a nice way to add extra life to this app. But there are only 3 pictures and facts for each. Also, some of the production quality is a bit lower than many other e-books out there - and I think kids will notice. Rating: 3/5

Parental Involvement: Again, with e-books, there's always co-reading. Parents can also elaborate on the facts in the activities. Rating: 4/5

Total: 13 out of 20 = 3 stars

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