Cats With Spots is the first title in an app series about wildlife called "Amazing Animals." It was developed for TreeTop Library and is available for the iPad. The app includes a story, written by Iva Vlašimsky, plus photos and videos that describe the cheetah and its habitat. The story includes both “Read to Me” and “Read By Myself” options to accommodate different levels. Traditional background music can be turned on or off on the Options page.
There are three main navigation tools. Pages are turned by swiping the right margin of the screen (to advance) or the left margin (to go back). The book icon in the bottom right corner indicates additional information, either captioned pictures or a short video. The paw print in the left corner returns the reader to the story. Numerous animations can be found on each page, and there are accompanying sound effects.
This tale unfolds on the African savanna, with something moving in the tall grass. A wily leopard and a graceful cheetah have a chance encounter at the river. Somewhat alike, but also very different, they size each other up. With the help of a noisy baboon, they eventually decide there is room on the savanna for both of them.
Cats With Spots is a perfect example of how a developer can combine two different purposes successfully into one app. The interactive elements of the story are easy to find and activate. Some of them are really outstanding; for example, when the animals come to the water's edge, their reflections ripple gracefully. At dusk, the bright orange sky gradually turns a beautiful, rich shade of purple, and finally becomes dotted with stars.
On the other hand, Cats With Spots has enough factual information about the savanna to appeal to junior naturalists. The captions are well-written and accurately describe each picture. I was most impressed with the professional quality of video clips and the still photographs.
Both parts of the app are well-integrated and provide a complete and enjoyable learning experience. We think your child will enjoy Cats With Spots. it’s our latest Top Pick at Fun Educational Apps.
Note to Parents: please be aware that the video clips included in Cats With Spots show cheetahs engaging in their normal behavior, which includes the hunting and killing of a gazelle, seen from a distance.
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 FunEducationalApps.com on November 17, 2014. Nathalie is a mom of three, always looking for top fun educational apps to support kids learning the fun way! She is the founder of Fun Educational Apps and Co-funder of AppStar Picks, a free app listing top reviews for kids, from trusted websites. She created Fun Educational Apps as a way to help parents, educators and teachers discover great apps. Together with her kids, they try new apps on an ongoing basis.
This app was reviewed by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 8 +
An innovative story app for kids who love animals - a crossover between an interactive picture book and non-fiction fun facts about wildlife. The story takes you to the African savannah where you meet two big cats with spotty furs: a leopard and a cheetah! Oh, you can't tell the difference between them? No worries. Try this book app so you and your children can read and learn about it - today!
- An amusing and exciting story based on differences between a cheetah and a leopard.
- Additional educational content on each page – the icon with a book opens extra windows, packed with a bunch of interesting facts, stunning wildlife pictures and videos.
- A lesson in tolerance and acceptance of diversities.
- Lovely African music, funny sound effects, nature and genuine animal sounds
- Interactive elements like tapping whiskers, pulling tails, coloring cat's spots, making characters laugh, run or roar and much more
- Beautiful design and fun animations
- Read-to-me or self-read options
- English and Croatian language to choose