Early Reader apps

Stepworks has bright and cheerful early readers for young children of two classic stories- The Little Red Hen and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I am captivated at the very beginning by the bright colors and engaging art. Upon opening the user is greeted by a smaller version of the book cover with three lines of text to the right which have equal value because of the way they are graphically treated. A non reader would hit the arrows and at least the developer placed the “read to me” version first so the non reader would probably hit the correct arrow.  Along the bottom the user has three language choices with which to play the app -  English, Spanish, or Cantonese.  The English is commonwealth English and all three versions are narrated by children. The Boy who Cried Wolf is narrated by a girl. The fluency is cute but would not be considered a fluent reading by a teacher as the phrasing is awkward. Still the art, the sound effects, and the minimal animation are strong enough to keep a child engaged in the story. Two improvements I would like to see are to highlight the words as they are read to encourage word association with young readers and to fix the fluency of the reading. I give these two apps a 4 out of 5 stars for its educational value and a 5 out of 5 for entertainment. I would love to see more stories from this company – especially if they followed my recommendations.

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