Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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I would like to remind readers that Oceanhouse Media has done a nice job adapting many titles from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library. These books, written in the rhyming style of Dr. Seuss, star The Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two, as well as other familiar characters Dick and Sally who are also introduced in The Cat in the Hat. Topics may include dinosaurs, insects, space, or birds, and serve as basic primers on these subjects. Maps are the topic within There’s a Map on my Lap!, introducing what maps are used for, different kinds of maps, and suggestions on how children create a map of their own - be it of their home or other familiar area.
I appreciate how topics such as Longitude and Latitude are discussed, as is the concept of scale and what a globe would look like if flattened - akin to opening and laying flat the skin of an orange, as most American children’s world view includes the U.S. as the center of a map they may be familiar with.
As is the case with other apps in this series, one has the choice of reading to oneself or listening to narration - complete with words that become highlighted when read as well as word/picture associations triggered with a tap. Do notice how sometimes characters can be moved around the page as well as the panning and zooming of the original illustrations, allowing readers to see these pages up close as well as drawing one’s eye to areas of importance related to the narration at hand. Families familiar with this series may be familiar with the glossaries of words found at the end of these books that include such words as “legend,” which is the key to different icons used in a map. Although this glossary is not to be found as a specific list, these words are touched up within the body of this app - seen in bold print standing out from the page. Do tap on them as this introduces the glossary definition with both text and additional narration.
Children as well as adults will enjoy this simple non-fiction book; possibly leading kids to ask questions that adults can help them research. I am delighted to see that my favorite narrator, John Bell, lends his voice to this application. With a perfect radio voice, his work is uniformly excellent and I am always happy to listen to it.