This tale has the 'lettermen' going on a trip to visit a castle. Like the other "Lettermen" books (found under the category 'Education'), this book 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. These titles are very appealing to kids and the characters all have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.
The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The Lettermen was a series of books first created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 2005. 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 another title in this series, 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 to a CASTLE in this title. The castle they visit is very OLD and surrounded by a MOAT. The Lettermen have FUN crossing over a drawbridge to get to the castle GATE. Then they climb up into the TOWER and get scared by a GHOST. As they RUN away they find out it was a JOKE played on them by some of the other Lettermen. In his fright, one Lettermen gets STUCK in a suit of armor and has to be pulled OUT. Next some other Lettermen wander into the dungeon and manage to LOCK themselves in where they are stuck ALONE for what seems like FOREVER. Thankfully some other Lettermen find a KEY and release them so they can all grab SUPPER before leaving for home.
[Words above in caps are also part of the spelling activity in the book.]