Disclaimer: I received a copy of this app in exchange for an honest review.
My kids, young and old, love to be read, to. If my voice could take it, they would literally have me read to them all day long. When experts say you should read your kids for 15 minutes per day, hubby & I laugh; if only we could get in on that some days :).
As much as I like to read, I’m not always able to and my kids don’t like audio books–they are very visual. That’s one of the reasons I love the Oceanhouse Media Apps. The apps are of actual books– they don’t add or remove text and the pictures are not animated. They have apps for favorite authors & series, too–Dr. Seuss, Little Critter, Berenstein Bears & more.
Oceanhouse Media Apps
Typically, you will be looking at (a section of) the original art & seeing the words as if you were reading a physical book. They are narrated by a woman who is un-annoying in my opinion. Hubby disagrees. They also have modified a few to include things like falling snow across the pages and I notice lovely background noises, like birds chirping. You can shut this off, but I like it, especially in winter :).
Each app includes the option to Auto Play. In this mode, it will read the book & turn the pages all on its own, no interaction needed. It also highlights the words being read. There is also the Read to me option, where it reads the story and highlights the words. In this mode, you can touch words and pictures and it will read it/show it to you. You need to swipe to turn the page. The last mode is Read Myself and you swipe it to turn the page.
Berenstein Bears Living Lights Collection
The particular app that I received was the Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection 1. I actually like the Living Lights books written by Mike, better than the originals by Stan & Jan. The Living Lights Collection has 7 (!) books:
- The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree
- The Berenstain Bears Discover God’s Creation
- The Berenstain Bears Do Their Best
- The Berenstain Bears Faithful Friends
- The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage
- The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks
- The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You!
Because these are the Living Lights books by Zondervan, they all have a godly message/lesson and include a bible verse at the end. My only grump is that the books still make papa look like a buffoon. That bugs me :(.
The coolest feature of the new app is that if you buy the iOS version, you can record your own narration. How awesome would that be for a military family or one who has family members that travel? The app is intended for ages 3-7 and I call that pretty much spot on. The stories are too long for any younger and I can see my oldest growing out of it in a little while.
On a related note, if you find you have quite a collection, they also have a bookshelf app that you can use to access all of them from a central place. Pretty fun developments since I last reviewed their apps!
Overall, I am completely tickled with the Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection 1 app for the iPhone. I have a 5S and it doesn’t dog my phone. The stories are good and its really nice to have another option for reading books when my voice can’t take any more. I also love the idea of the record a voice feature. So cool. If you are looking for reading options besides a Kindle, check out Oceanhouse Media–they have a whole variety of quality book apps.
Do you have book apps on your device?