My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day is a universal app in which Hasbro, the classic toy company has teamed up with Ruckus Media Group to bring their hit TV. and toy franchise My Little Pony to iPad and iPhone. Like other Ruckus apps, this application allows one to listen to this story with narration or without as well as recording this book oneself. Interactive mini-games are also offered throughout the pages of this ebook and the words are highlighted when read - nice for new readers to follow along with.
I must admit that I am a little old to have been a member of the target demographic for My Little Pony when first launched in 1983, so I have approached this story from the viewpoint of a true outsider who knows little-to-nothing about My Little Pony before this app.
From what I understand, this app is also based on the more recent show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, as this TV show, as well as this app, are focused on Twilight Sparkle, a learned pony who here becomes teacher for a day in the land of Equestria, where she expresses the need for friendship - a popular theme among this series. Adults and children may find the backstory used within this app explaining the history of My Little Pony to be fun and interesting, possibly bringing back fond childhood memories as well.
The look of this app is enjoyable with a palette of pink and purple plus other bold colors that one may look forward to if a fan of My Little Pony, as does my son who until now did not know of this franchise, but now asks for this application by name.
Interactive Mini-games are also offered here, including a maze of sorts that one must tilt one's device for in order to steer main character Twilight Sparkle where she needs to go. I had difficulty with this style mini-game personally, as the controls felt counter intuitive to me, but I would not be surprised if those younger than me and in peak condition for the testing one’s fine motor skills have an easier time of this type game, and I was glad to see that I was able to bypass these sections if needed, as my son 3.5+ year old son has similar problems within these mazes, but he is also really new to this type of game.
I did enjoy, however, the “find the difference” activities, as this was the first time my boy was engaged enough to attempt this kid of puzzle on his own, with some success, even on the smaller screen of my iPhone. I also like how the instructions of these games give spoken directions for those who are not reading yet and are simply listening to this tale. When these activities are completed, words are collected that can also be added to fill in a lengthy custom story that may appeal to slightly older kids, making this app a nice storybook to share with both preschool-aged kids as well as older siblings as this app teaches both the social importance of friendship, early reading skills and vocabulary, as well as practicing fine motor skills and possibly even encouraging kids to going into education as a career.
I also appreciated the “Meet the Ponies” section that gives fun biographies on each of the ponies one meets within this story, a section parents may choose for their kids to view first if they are not familiar with these pony characters.
My favorite part of this app was the memorable animated clip of the Wonderbolts pony air show, part of an important traditional celebration in the land of Equestria. This moment, although short, reminds me of a favorite moment from the The Powerpuff Girls, interesting as the most modern My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was developed by Lauren Faust who also has great association with this cartoon. I do wish this style of animation was more prevalent in this app past this clip, as this style is more to my taste, but I know my son really enjoys this storybook a great deal just the way it is.
I think this will be a hit with those who are fans of this very popular children’s series and toys. It is surely impressive that Hasbro has sold over 100 million ponies since their launch in 1983, and fans of these ponies will enjoy having a ponycentric app to download onto their devices. It is also nice to know that my son new nothing of My Little Pony before this app, but has enjoyed this storybook again and again, making this app a nice choice for children who are not already fans of these ponies.