Go Away Big Green Monster!
Story by Ed Emberly
Copyright Night and Day Studios Inc.
Recommended Ages 10 months to 4 years
There are four ways to read this story app. Read along with Ed Emberly which exposes the user to his wonderful wit and enthusiasm as he tells his story. Read along with a friend uses the voice of a young child and could be useful for individual or one on one time because they will relate to this method of storytelling by a peer. Another choice is hearing the story in song form with music composed and performed by Ed’s granddaughter Adrian Carney. She infuses the story with toe tapping movement. Lastly the read myself area lets the child or adult reader set the pace and use their monster voice to tell the tale. All of the choices are well orchestrated as each new part exposes more of the monsters face and then less. The features move and make their own silly sounds. Readers can go back and forth through the story to explore at will.
How the Children Reacted
I read it out loud to my the 10 to 24 months class. They did not really seem that interested in the action happening in the app, but they liked the story. Yes the younger ones were mixed, but it was totally different for the two and three-year old classes. They loved it. I used the read myself and then the song version. My second class had fewer children so each got a chance to play a bit with the monster. They did not want to stop! They reveled in playing with the silly eyes and pointy teeth. In addition we pointed to our facial features as the monster revealed his. It was an app that got the twos and threes moving and excited.
By Matthew Green
Recommended Ages 3 years to 6 years
There is a circus in town with comical monsters. You can go through the story page by page to see each monster perform a daring feat or create your own monster. I practiced with the app and thought it would be really fun for my four and five-year old class. On each page there is text explaining their actions. One shoots from a cannon, one gets sawed in half and it continues on with each monster who is introduced. It has snappy music and was fun to use. The story and creating the monster were a nice combination of activities and play.
How the Children Reacted
A few days later, I used it with the class. There were problems. It changed pages automatically so the children could not explore the pages. When we were on a certain page it was slow to load. We all got frustrated and used another app from a previous week. Recently I tried it again and it kept quitting. I could not check settings, it would blink and leave the screen. I uninstalled and reinstalled and the same thing happened. The system on my iPad is up to date and my other apps are working fine. This was a really disappointing turn for an app that had lots of potential.
My Monster Mayhem
Written by Anita Pouroulis and Illustrated by Sholto Walker
By Digital leaf
Recommended Ages 3 years to 7 years
A young girl explains to the reader that there are sneaky monsters in her house that cause problems. Her mum never sees them and blames the girl to her utter displeasure. The monsters squirt water, make a mess of her room and break things. As the book continues, they get into higher degrees of trouble. In the end the girl learns to fight back and sends them into the basement. The monsters are a bit scary and some of the pages are dark, but this is a fabulous story and puzzle app.
As the user reads themselves or choses a narrator from an adult or child, rhyming text is used to learn about the monsters. The user can explore the pages over and over in addition, some move side to side. Several of the characters and objects can be a manipulated and they all make a sound.The arrows at the bottom of the pages make it easy to turn the page. When all the text is read it disappears, but can easily reappear by hitting the book icon. As they read they can find a hidden monster on each page, which leads to a puzzle game after the story is done. I am hoping to use this in a future storytime. I can’t believe this app is free!
Hiding Monsters is another cool monsters app for $1.99 from Glowdot Productions, Inc.
I reviewed that app last year https://shellibrary.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/sharing-apps-in-a-new-way-during-storytime/