The First Million is a lovely universal “mix and match” book application that adults and children will find interesting as well as intuitive as here, as the pages of this book are split into three sections – each being able to be flipped back and forth to create new and intriguing illustrations and word combinations.

Unlike other “mix and match” books where one can look for the corresponding thirds of the same image to make a match, this app is completely open-ended with no right or wrong matches to be made, giving children free range to produce any and all combinations they may fancy.

This book uses both charming, bright and colorful hand-drawn illustrations and text to increase children’s vocabulary, understanding of simple sentence structure and imagination. Parents will notice that the top and bottom panels include nouns, whereas the middle sections are verbs, creating three-word sentences, each full of whimsy such as “The pig pokes the grass” or “The pear washes the beetle.”

I really appreciate how the top head, middle body with arms section and bottom feet sections all combine together to make different characters, also wonderfully demonstrating each word used, such the middle section demonstrating words like “show” including the trunk of a body raising a shirt to show off a belly button or the hands of the center section working a marionette to demonstrate “move.”

The top and bottom portions include such wonderful details as well, with heads fashioned out of an hourglass to show “the time” or from a starfish for “the star.” I especially love the interesting feet creations, such as legs fashioned out of clouds or robot legs as well as many animal and other creative choices.

Without sound, this app encourages children to read these words themselves or with the help of an adult. I admire how the images used really demonstrate each word offered, helping children who may be new readers still working on their phonic sounds and who may really benefit from these hints.

Some nice options are also included, as one can tap the bottom right corner of each panel to switch between images with smaller words or to the words being the main focus with included smaller images – a nice touch for those who are ready to read these silly sentences with less visual help.

I also like the ability to tap the center bottom of these panels to have be able to scroll through image icons as an option to flipping the pages of the larger section of this book, done so with a swipe or tap of a finger.

As a child, I have seen a few of these kinds of books, and I have been quite fond of this format. What is special about this app, not including the lovely illustrations and fun sentences that one can create, is the fact that this book includes 100 pages cut into the three sections, creating a total of 1000,000 different combinations, hence the full name, The First Million – Teach your child to read. Although this app may not directly teach children how to read, it will go far in piquing toddlers’ interest in new words and may aid in emerging reading skills as well as the understanding of both nouns and verbs as well as sentence structure. For these reasons, I think toddlers through grade school children will have fun with this application, both with help from adults as well as by themselves.

The one note that I do have is that although I appreciate the lack of included narration, the complete lack of sound is a little disconcerting. I would love to hear included in the future subtle page turns or other simple sounds when a tap is made as well as the option to listen to included music. Just a thought for a future update.

Posted in: Art, By Age Range, By App Feature, Just For Fun, Language, Parents and Kids, Preschool, Primary School, Reading, Reviews, Toddlers