Are you looking for the digital equivalent of a children's magazine - the kind with activities, stories, games and more? Well, look no farther! Storybox is a new children's digital magazine based on the print publication of the same name. This is a wonderful selection of activities & stories to occupy a child.
The app contains a full storybook with narration and animation, two cute comics (one a wordless "Polo" story), games and two short fact books about science and animals. There is only one edition of Storybox currently available, but it is definitely worth a download. Subscription information for the print publication is included within the app and I hope there will be additional app editions of this magazine soon.
This app is solidly made with a nice table of contents, easy navigation between sections, great audio and lots of educational value. You can even record your own narration for the storybook. My child really enjoyed the scientific facts about airplane 'trails' and fun facts about Humpback Whales, but he loved the dot-to-dots & activities pages the most. The story & comics are cute, although very short. They would also make great bedtime reads (if you can avoid the other fun stuff in the app).
The only thing that gave me pause as a parent was the link to a youtube video of a cute computer animated cartoon of the SamSam comic star ... the inset 'tv' on the comic page takes the reader directly into youtube to watch the 7 minute video (if internet access is available). There are also links to the website for Storybox, but those are at least not quite so enticing. I would like to have a setting to block youtube access or at least to see the app ask first before leaving the story.
Overall this is a great app for kids ages 4-9. The developers have captured the fun and excitement of a kid's magazine with the convenience and lower price only an app can provide. There is no subscription option for the digital publication but it would be well worth purchasing as individual apps - a great companion for those long car rides and times when a child says, "I'm bored". Winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award and my highest recommendation!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Carl Norac/Henrike Wilson
45 - 60 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
Storybox is a collection of activities along with a storybook called "What about a Mooh?" A cow named Stella won't say "mooh" and her mother is very worried. None of the animals can get her to make a noise until her mother licks her gently and speaks softly to her. Stella just needed a little TLC from her mommy!
Two comics are also included: SamSam and GumGum the Giant (a 12-frame story where little SamSam helps the giant find his good-luck pebble) and a wordless comic staring Polo, told over 15 frames.
A game section includes dot-to-dots, a coloring page & other kite themed activities.
Two additional sections feature educactional stories & fun facts about Airplanes (and why they leave trails in the sky), plus a section all about Humpback Whales.