Rounds: Franklin Frog is a charming universal app bringing wonderful non-fiction content focused on teaching the life cycle of frogs in a way that will be especially appealing to children of all ages and their adults. Both Read and Play, allowing one to listen to narration while reading along with highlighted text, as well as explore interactions is included, as is a Read to Myself option.
I simply adore Rounds: Franklin Frog, illustrated in a bold style consisting of circles as a whole as well as pieces thereof, as the look of this app is unique and sophisticated yet utterly appealing to children of all ages, as are the soft greens and blues found within, a personal favorite palette of mine.
Rounds: Franklin Frog does a wonderful job of balancing the cute anthropomorphic details and witty narrated lines of dialogue heard when tapping on the frog characters found throughout with some thoughtful facts about these interesting creatures both included as spoken lines of text triggers with a tap, as well as within the narrative itself.
This is the story of Franklin, a young frog who, along with the readers, explores his surroundings as well as hibernates for the winter, finding a mate and beyond - wonderfully narrated, engaging, and relaxing.
The interactions are simply delightful within this app, helping Franklin jump and swim, feeding him bugs with his sticky tongue and later helping Franklin find a mate by tapping and allowing other frogs to hear their mating call - all wonderful details that readers of all ages will appreciate a great deal.
I was taken a back at how moving this children’s story is, as the use of pitch-perfect music and stylized details demonstrates the change of seasons with use of moons floating past the sky, the plants dying away, and the use of snow falling as Franklin is safety tucked away.
Equally poignant was watching Franklin’s mate lay her eggs, watching them develop from frogspawn into tadpoles and later after sprouting legs and arms, developing into a frog after quite a metamorphosis.
Readers should take note that although the text within the pages of this story may have concluded, this app is intensely filled with important animations and interactions, wonderfully polished and beautiful to look at, yet charmingly sleepy in their nature and never over-stimulating.
Do wait for the arrow found at the bottom to become bold and bounce as this signifies that the major animations and interactions have been played out, although one can still enjoy oneself by tapping frogs to hear their added dialogue spoken as well as move them around the page.
I confess that the first time reading this book, I turned the page prematurely, missing out on some important transitions and interactions such as protecting frog eggs from hungry fish, or the full transformation from tadpole to young frog. The pacing of this app can be on the leisurely side - not a flaw at all, as this app does expect a level of concentration waiting out some animations much like one would in nature. Parents may want to familiarize themselves with all that this app has to offer to insure that their children do not turn the pages prematurely.
I also appreciate a great deal how this story plays itself out over three generations of frogs, teaching readers about life cycles as well as being quite interesting in terms of storytelling, but with no concrete ending, parents may find it hard to break their children away from this experience. Possibly an option could be included in the future that lets the three unique generations play out before this app comes to an end, just a thought for a future update.
I have been a huge fan of Nosy Crows and other storybook apps based on classic tales, but I think I enjoy Rounds: Franklin Frog even more. The experience is educational as well simply wonderful in terms of the narration, animated illustrations, interactions and a perfect use of music.
Rounds: Franklin Frog is an app that I highly recommend to both parents as well as teachers. Children will learn a lot about frogs from this application, I know I did. They will also be exposed to a beautiful story that I found at moments quite touching. Parents will be delighted to spend time with their children reading Rounds: Franklin Frog as well as for their children to spend time with this app alone.
I sincerely hope that Nosy Crow develops more non-fiction titles in this style. I could not be more fond of Rounds: Franklin Frog.