This fun digital storybook under the category "Education" is interactive in a way that not only makes reading fun, but reinforces spelling, reading and sight words. The 'lettermen' themselves are simple but engaging cartoon letters with hands and feet. They are very appealing to kids and have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.
This tale has the 'lettermen' going in a plane. The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The Lettermen was a series of books created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 1993. According to the information page in the book, "It was never intended to be an educational system or a challenge to any established teaching methods, but both parents and teachers have found that the simple Lettermen stories are useful in showing children how letters form words and words have meanings."
This book has simple settings (tap on the bottom to see them). Page turning 'hands' appear in the upper right and left corners of each page. Tap on the middle 'hand' on the top of any page to trigger the interactive game. The child then needs to touch and drag the lettermen into the right order to spell the word(s) from the page. The word itself appears on the screen as a guide. A small hand on the bottom in the middle lets you quickly exit the game, although it is sometimes hard to see with all the letters bouncing about.
The controls, while plentiful, can feel a bit touchy at first. Once you and your child get used to them, though, this book series is a great addition to any educational e-library for young readers. The spelling game portion of the app is a lot of fun and reinforces the storyline and a different word or phrase on each page. Touch and drag the letters and watch them bounce. They click into place and when the whole word or phrase has been spelled properly, it says "well done" (spelled out in 'lettermen').
Even without the game, this storybook is perfectly delightful as a standalone app book. And it's particularly nice looking on the iPad, which shows off the fun lettermen and their crazy expressions much better that the small screen ever could. The illustrations are engaging, enhance reading comprehension and recognition of 'sight' words.
[The youtube video below is of The Lettermen go to a party.]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
12 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 6
The Lettermen go in a PLANE in this title. First they are a little AFRAID and worried about TAKE OFF. But they get over it as the plane starts to SOAR. They can hardly believe how HIGH it flies, enjoying the fun as the plane banks RIGHT & LEFT and even goes in a LOOP. It's so fun they want to do it AGAIN and again. Soon they go IN and then OUT of the clouds before putting on parachutes and getting to JUMP. The lettermen still flying the plane get LOST for awhile before they FIND the runway and LAND ... just in time for LUNCH!
[Words above in caps are also part of the spelling activity in the book.]