Grimm’s Frog King includes two versions of the traditional folktale from the Grimm brothers in both German and English. One is presented with a straightforward retelling of the story – the other includes some modifications as suggested by a co-moderator, a young girl who is sure to interject her own thoughts, criticisms and feedback to the story in the funny version (complete with alternate ending and a froggy family photo album).
The book includes lovely detailed illustrations by artist Vivianne Dommann that include tappable audio spots with sound effects and additional dialogue. The pictures can also be zoomed to explore details (but audio doesn’t work in zoom mode). In addition to the storybook illustrations there are also animated froggy extras on many of the pages that sparkle with ‘fairy dust’ to indicate interactivity.
The narration can be paused and played with a button that is present on each page – pages swipe to turn forward and back. The narration and background noises can be turned on and off independently but this is done in the iPad settings not within the app.
A number of fun and educational extras are included (not all include narration and require an adult to read or an independent reader) with the story including jokes, jokes for older kids, the differences between frogs and toads, spot the differences, a frog tapping screen, and a quiz.
What We Liked:
My six-year-old LOVES the funny version of The Frog King that this app presents. The quirky counterpoint young female narrator (cute British accent!) so accurately provides a critical point of view of the traditional tale that she made some comments I was tempted to make when reading the story to my girls! The froggy family photo album is another favorite with all of the funny characters it includes.
The narration is truly excellent throughout and the German version provides an foreign language exposure option once your child is familiar with the traditional story in English. Lovely artwork and solid production values are present throughout.
What We Didn’t Like:
Some of the illustrations are inconsistent, some show the frog with the golden ball before he retrieves it, and one of my children asked why his clothing kept changing. It would be nice to see some text highlighting along with the narration for younger readers – there is quite a bit of text on each page and this would help them track better. There is also some sound overlap between the narration and tappable objects unless the narration is manually paused beforehand. While solid, there are a few other areas that could use some more polishing as well.
Grimm’s Frog King is a classically illustrated, lightly interactive, and fully narrated version of this classic folktale presented for today’s children. Complete with English and German versions, and both traditional and quirky retellings, the app also includes a wealth of fun, educational extras for a pleasant storytelling experience that could still benefit from some refinements.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Mom’s Rating: 3/5
Kids’ Rating: 4.5/5
Recommended Grades/Ages: Kindergarten, Grades 1-3
Skills Developed: Fairytales, Storybook, Read Aloud, German
Other Notes: This app does not include in-app purchases, advertising or social media integration. It does include external links to several websites in the parents page towards the end (several pages in). It also includes one place to put in an email address at the end of the quiz.
This review was originally published by AppsforHomeschooling.com on September 6, 2012.
For homeschoolers, by a homeschooler. Jennifer Bogart, founded AppsforHomeschooling.com. She has four children, 8 months - 8 years. She's an "app-loving, aspiring geek dedicated to helping you hunt down the best homeschooling apps" and you can find more reviews on her site for everything from Toddlers to Tweens.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Brothers Grimm/Viviane Dommann
JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy
16 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9 +
English • German •
"The Frog Prince; or, Iron Henry" (German: Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich, literally "The Frog King or the Iron Heinrich") is a fairy tale, best known through the Brothers Grimm's written version; traditionally it is the first story in their collection. In the tale, a spoiled princess reluctantly befriends a frog (possibly meeting him after dropping a gold ball into his pond), who magically transforms into a handsome prince. Although in modern versions the transformation is invariably triggered by the princess kissing the frog, in the original Grimm version of the story the frog's spell was broken when the princess threw it against a wall in disgust. In other early versions it was sufficient for the frog to spend the night on the princess's pillow. [Courtesy: Wikipedia]
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