I am always looking for ways to keep Stud busy when we have to wait somewhere. The iPad gets used a lot for this purpose! He has a supply of book-apps and game-apps, but we are always adding more to keep them fresh and developmentally appropriate. As an Education major turned Communications major, I’m also concerned with making sure that his apps are developmentally appropriate and beneficial. I was given the opportunity to review “Elfishki and the Giant Gake,” an interactive book for kids. I was excited about this one, because the age-range is 5-9 years old, so it might be good for eight-year-old Boo and usable by three-year-old Stud, since it can read the text to him.
You can watch the Elfishki Kids Book Video to get a quick overview of what the books are like.
Once upon a time, on the beautiful Rainbow Island in the middle of the Sparkling Sea lived magical little people called Elfishki.
Some of them could fly like butterflies and some could swim like mermaids. They shared the island with animals who could speak and trees who did not talk, but understood everything. All in all, this was a place where miracles happened every day.
Elfizz was an owner of a gloomy restaurant named Chest of Ghosts where the staff was eager to please ghosts. On the opposite side of the square was a bakery, Gingerbread Nook, run by a pretty plump Elfishki lady called Maggie. The two were at odds with each other until one day they had to work side by side …
Here’s what you find in the iPad application:
- Original, not found anywhere else captivating texts, designed to develop your child’s conscious reading skills – according to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
- Stunning interactive art, classic animation and videos.
- Professional Audio Voice over of the story, so your child can listen along with the text.
- THREE (3) Questions on every page of the book specifically designed to help your child analyze the text, boost their imagination and make predictions about the story.
- A bonus game specifically designed to boost your child’s imagination – Decorate the Cake – where you can save and share your child’s fantastic creation.
Elfishki and the Giant Cake has lovely illustrations, many of which are interactive. There are a lot of words, but each “word page” is followed by an “illustration page” that has no words at all. Each page also has three reading comprehension questions. The story follows two Elfishki, Elfizz and Maggy, as they learn to appreciate each other’s differences. The app also has a Russian language setting for the multi-lingual.
Stud likes most book-apps that read to him. With Elfishki and The Giant Cake, he listens to the words and then spends another two or three minutes playing with the illustrations and listening to the musical tracks. With a little prompting and extra help, he is able to give answers to most of the questions.
Boo just finished second grade, but her reading and comprehension are closer to the fourth grade level. She also enjoyed the story, reading it with very little assistance from me. She enjoyed the interactive illustrations, and reading the story to Stud. She was better able to answer the questions without prompting. Bubba (11yo ds) and Monkey Man (10yo ds) enjoyed reading the book with Stud, but they tend to get “all up in his kool-aid” and interact with the illustrations, rather than letting him do it.
Overall, I feel that this book is a great value at $2.99. I am very stingy with my money when it comes to the purchase of apps. “Information should be free” and all. However, this app could be used for quite a few years and with multiple children. You should check it out!
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