By John Painter on Sun, 05/02/2010
Dr. Seuss on my iPhone was great, my son loved it but The Lorax ($2.99) on my iPad is out of this world! This ebook is just more good stuff from Ocean House Media, see my previous post on The Cat In The Hat. The Lorax is the same well designed reader with a new story. It is intuitive for young children to operate and gives them the options of reading on their own or being read to, again I could not over emphasize the importance of reading and being read to when learning to read. I think this reader is great for children and would even be an asset in an adult literacy program, at 45 I still enjoy reading through Dr. Seuss now and again!
I've also been looking at two new iPhone/iPad apps, Lorax Garden and Seuss Send for the iPhone (you can use them on iPad but at reduced resolution) which are very interesting twists on the Dr. Seuss legacy.
In the Lorax Garden (.99) you're growing Truffula trees and flowers if you choose, from seedlings, initially in a greenhouse, watering them, orienting them in the sun, transplanting them to the tree farm, etc. This is very much like the cyber pets toys one can get, I'm not entirely certain that this would hold a Childs attention for too long. Even I got a bit board with just watering the trees, orienting them to the sun and waiting for them to grow. This might be more engaging if it were a bit SIMS like in terms of pace and eventually creating Lorax habitat. It might also be interesting if there were some options for collaboration, maybe Open Feint?
In Seuss Send (.99), you have a collection (sizable) of Seuss sayings broken out by occasion which you can use to send a quick e-card to some one. This is maybe the more technical of theses apps since you need to be able to address the card using your iphone's address book, not that this is hard, but for young children it may be a bit harder to master, but my son at 7 years old has picked up on it and had very little learning curve though.
Overall I like these apps, with the caveat that the two apps for the iPhone are a bit more challenging to use for young children, and in the case of the Lorax Garden is not as engaging as it could be for flighty kids. I would say buy The Lorax if you have an iPad - it's really good. Get the Seuss Send app, for a child who's already reading and writing welland has some skills with the iPhone/Touch or yourself!