Martin The Penguin is a cute and fun interactive book for iPad which teaches about different animal habitats as Martin the penguin visits creatures in varied climates asking them questions about how they live. Three languages, English, Catalan and Spanish are included and one can also silence the narration, reading this book to oneself as well. A version for iPhone is also available.
This is a simple, yet well-illustrated storybook which also has some nice interactive sounds and hotspots that will appeal to the youngest app viewers. Babies and toddlers as well as those in preschool, will enjoy tapping the text paragraphs to hear the story as well as to learn some nice introductory information about animals and the homes in which they live as Martin asks them questions about their various lives in the wild. I like the interesting style of illustrations and color choices used thought this app, creating a nice look I enjoy and it is always nice to see hints given to help kids find the hotspots, here highlighted with a subtle bullseye.
Three activities are also included. First, play peek-a-boo with Martin as he hides both in plain sight, as well as behind things such as bushes or trees, waiting to be found. The youngest of players will delight in this game, while older children may show more interest in the “Match the Animals” game, a memory style game where the player turns over cards to make matches. Here, animal sounds are also incorporated, adding a fun element to this classic game. A puzzle game is also included that children will enjoy.
An interesting interactive globe is also included, complete with a scene from each page and can be spun with a finger. I like that this world can also be used as a menu as tapping a a specific image will take the reader to the chosen page.
Although short, I think this app will be appealing to children as a first app. Parents will enjoy the illustrations, the educational aspects, and open-ended conversations about animals that this app may initiate.