iPhone Life magazine

This is what an e-book for kids should look like!

Ayars Animation is one of my favorite app developers. Their first app, Jack in the Beanstalk, is, to me, an example of what an e-book for kids should look and act like. It is fantastic. See my review of Jack in the Beanstalk for more info.

Cozmo’s Day Off, again, demonstrates that Ayars Animation knows what kids like. This new e-book is just as good as Jack in the Beanstalk. It features awesome graphics, interesting sound effects and fun interactions, making it enjoyable for both children and parents.

The object of the e-book is to get Cozmo to work on time. On the way, you interact with space creatures, rocket ships, and other “planets.” You also try to locate the hidden “dog” on each page, which is not as easy as it looks. I had to go back several times to find every one.

Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the app:

I didn’t like that the words highlighted only in sentences. I wish there was a way to select one word at a time. This would make it more useful for reinforcing reading skills. I did like that you could set the voice to run faster (to get the alien effect) or slower (easier to understand) and that you could record your own voice.

As with “Jack”, the animations in Cozmo are extremely entertaining! There’s a robot that makes popcorn, flying saucers that whiz through, and aliens that wash windows. I do wish the monster on the Page one blinked his eyes (1/8/11 update - the monster wiggles his eyes!), or wiggled his legs. He looked like he should do something and it frustrated me that he didn’t! I would love to see what creature it is that is stealing the bones on Page two!  

You’ll find several games to play as you go through the story. I loved making the foam disappear! That was one of my favorite pages. The fish in the blender was a bit bothersome to me at first until I discovered it was a puzzle. Like Humpty Dumpty, you have to put him together again! I guess the turkey is stuck in the over, but at least he doesn’t get cooked. Or maybe I missed something?

I thought the radio game was too hard. It frustrated me, so it will probably frustrate young children, too. I couldn’t figure out how to make it work so it was too long. I got bored and left the page. Again, I probably missed something; but I think the developer should make it easier to figure out for this age group.

I loved the moon mite extermination game. It’s like whack-a-mole in space; and it’s easy enough for preschoolers. And the vintage TV was a nice touch for us Baby Boomer grandparents.

There’s a lot more animations and fun to discover in this e-book; but, I don’t want to spoil the fun of discovering it for yourself. Suffice it to say that Cozmo’s Day Off is one of the best, animated e-books available. You won’t be disappointed. 5 Stars.

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