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What is my job? Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on April 21st, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

What is my job? is a lovely interactive app for children which explores different occupations. Sections include interactive flash cards and a matching game. A version of this app is available for iPhone as well as iPad.

This is a very sweet app that young kids will enjoy. Adults will appreciate the polish that went into this application, which includes very cute pictures and good music. Two sections are included here: interactive flash cards and a matching game. I have enjoyed swiping through the flash cards with my son, tapping both the sweet children and bright, colorful animal characters who demonstrate different jobs, hearing their occupations when tapped. A related object is paired with the animal or child that corresponds to these various occupations, such as an astronaut and a space shuttle, pianist and piano, or worker and hammer who's names can also be heard when tapped.

Adults will appreciate the quality of the music used during this educational application. The use of an acoustic guitar with a wonderful Spanish sound is an interesting choice that I greatly enjoy listening to. I also appreciate that a series of narrators, both men and women, are used to narrate both the job titles and related objects, all of which brings a richness of sounds to this app.

It is also nice that although a basic premise, this app is very content-rich with lots of jobs introduced, including some interesting choices like "fish monger," "sculptor," and "cobbler."

The matching game is what one may expect, as the player turns over cards looking for pairs. Here, one matches together the character demonstrating a specific job and the related object. I really like that one can control the number of cards used in this game, from four to eight, as it is great that young players can play this game focusing only on four cards. Typically, my son needs me to pair matching apps down to four cards before he is capable of solving the game, and it is nice that he can start this himself and be able to finish on his own. The same style of wonderful music is also used through these matching games, along with the matched job's name narrated when a match is made.

The characters used through this app are also used among the K-Magic apps from these same developers - which my son has enjoyed for a long time. I am grateful that this series of apps has introduced my son to Patrick, a red dog, who wants to be a "good father" when Patrick grows up, something my kind son has taken to heart. In this app, we see that Patrick is now practicing as a baby sitter, a detail that both my son and I enjoy. I also like that the title page has a row of characters that one can be introduced to with a tap, my son was happy to see his old friends from the K-magic series.

What is my job? is a simple, lovely app that babies, toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy. I also highly recommend the other apps by the developers at PAKA, especially their K-Magic series, as well as their Farm Animals app, look for them in iTunes.

Farm Animals : Story and Games Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on March 7th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Farm Animals : Story and Games is a simple, cute, and nicely done app which teaches about farm animals and includes some lovely puzzles and an animal sounds game as well. Options for the book include reading the book to oneself or having it read with friendly, well-done narration.

I appreciate the look of this app: the illustrations are well-drawn with lots of bright colors, and the animals always have great whimsical expressions on their faces. I like that animal sounds have been included, as well as some cute hidden interactions that are marked on the page, giving the youngest players an idea of where to tap, a nice touch. It is also nice that the phrase “what’s that sound?” is repeated throughout the book before each animal is introduced, along with other facts about the specific animal.

I also enjoy the puzzles included, as well as the animal sounds game. To start the a puzzle, give the iPhone a good flick of the wrist to separate the pieces in the interest of putting the puzzle back together. The sound of these pieces rattling as they fall away from the jigsaw is very satisfying, but I do wish instructions were included regarding how to do this; it took me a while before I shook the iPhone in order to separate these pieces. The animals sounds game is a simple and straightforward activity of guessing what animal is making a specific sound, reinforcing the sounds learned in the storybook.

I have a lot of fun with all the elements of this book, as does my son. I think it would make an especially nice book for young children. If interested, check out the K-Magic series by the developers at PAKA, which have been long time favorites of my boy. I hope these developers continue to make lovely educational apps.