When I was in High School, my French teacher would reward us with comic books and story books written in French. They were always so exotic and fun to explore. Little did we know that tackling these stories taught us much more about the language and culture than our text books.
The stories contained in Pedro & Marg, by Heritage Language, are like taking a trip to a Latin American country. The app, based on the books by the same name, are rich in details describing the culture and customs of family life, and are a phenomenal resource for learning Spanish or English. It is truly impressive how well these story books are laid out, and how thoughtful the developers are in terms of variances in learning. The app contains one story with purchase and 4 others are offered as in app purchases.
The features for language acquisition are really what put these books on top. Each page contains both English and Spanish text side by side. You can then view and hear each language as read. There is a button that reads the text at a slower pace, for kids starting to learn, and a button for the text being read at a faster or conversational pace. I really appreciate the phrase at a glance section under the plus button. It breaks down the text further, enabling the student to learn how the language flows or expressions are used. There were a couple of typos and expressions that seemed awkward in their translations, but that always seems to be the case when going from one language to another and can be easily addressed in an update.
Reading through all 5 books, you can feel the respect and love of family in each book, and obviously the books are a labor of love. They transmit a view of everyday life. In “The Mysterious Present”, the book that comes with the app, we learn about birthday celebrations. “A Chocolate Brown Balloon” teaches us about festivals and their joys and wonders. It also makes you want to spend a day with Mom and learn how to cook such tasty treats!
“The Perfect Bread” describes a joyful mind and perseverance in learning how to accomplish a goal. It is really a lesson on gratitude and learning how to appreciate the here and now. “Bobby and the Soccer Ball” reinforces the love and solidarity of family. And “Elephants to the Rescue” describes the magical and wondrous qualities of grandmothers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and trying my voice at speaking and understanding Spanish. Why not celebrate with Pedro and Margarita and family? Now if that is a real chocolate balloon… count me in for next year’s festival!
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TeachersWithApps.com on July 16, 2014. Teachers With Apps was co-founded by Jayne Clare, a Special Education teacher, and Anne Rachel, an artist and Early Childhood educator. Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
Their goal is to be a credible resource for quality educational apps. Created to help parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators and anyone else, wade through the vast number of ”educational” apps being introduced on a daily basis. Teachers With Apps was founded by two lifelong educators and is dedicated to the idea that quality mobile educational apps are the tools of the future but they need to be used responsibly. Remember, not all educational apps are created equal.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Adriana Pacheco/Mike Phi
Heritage Language, LLC.
6 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 6 - 9 +
English • Spanish •
Meet Pedro and Margarita in these adorably illustrated interactive bilingual books, fun to read in English but perfect for practicing Spanish.
All the books have side-by-side English and Spanish versions of the story on each page in addition to two different readings in each language: a slow version for beginners and a faster version for more advanced readers.
To further add value, our unique interactive LanguageMatch feature makes it easy to spot and practice matching phrases in the two languages by rearranging them side-by-side at the touch of a button, and providing individual audio clips for each phrase. Developing good reading and language skills, and good pronunciation and rhythm, are easy with the help of Pedro, Margarita, and their family!
The Pedro & Marg app includes the complete version of our first title, "A Mysterious Present". The other four titles are available as in-app purchases.