The Rounds series from Nosy Crow is quite possibly my favorite of 2012, providing an exceptional learning experience for young children that is both engaging, enhanced in a developmentally-appropriate way and thoughtfully constructed to meet the learning needs of children, who are naturally curious about animals and their life-cycles. It contains 100s of facts about the animals in each title, presented in a child-friendly series of interactive speech-bubbles that let the animals talk to the reader in the first-person. It is enchanting simply to watch a child play with this app, delighting in each new discovery about their natural world.
In the first title, Franklin Frog, we meet a series of frogs with names that start with "F" as the amphibians go through their circular life-cycle. In this title, focusing on penguins, we meet Parker and many other "P" named penguins. Each one starts with the father penguin trying to fly (he can't) and then slip-sliding away across an icy landscape that uses the device's motion sensor to approximate the delightful way penguins can 'fly' along the slippery surface of their chilly environment.
Soon papa penguin is protecting the egg of a new generation, carefully guarding against the extreme cold until mama penguin returns with fish to feed the young hatch-ling. Children will delight in the exceptionally fun dialogue that appears with every tap on the tuxedo colored birds, eliciting giggles as they are learning factual information about the penguin life-cycle. The illustrations are simple and geometric, but elegant in their storytelling.
As a digital offering, the Rounds series is beautifully made, with simple settings, clear navigation and an intuitive design that will have children following the story through many, many cycles. This repetition is ideal for children under age 6, but even older readers will enjoy a few 'rounds' of the story. Overall this is simply a series I cannot recommend highly enough - I hope everyone will have a chance to see it for themselves!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Barry and Emma Tranter
Nosy Crow Limited
10 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 2 - 8 +
The second app in the innovative ‘Rounds’ series about the life-cycles of animals. Parker Penguin combines a warm, accessible wit with interactive and educational content, making it perfect for both the home and the classroom, and bears all the hallmarks of a Nosy Crow app – ingenious interactivity, original music, lively child narration, highlighted text, and charming animation.
Children can participate in every stage of Parker’s life, from birth to parenthood, and learn all about penguins and life in the Antarctic with lots of fun activities - sliding, swimming, hunting, marching, protecting an egg, and hatching a chick – before starting all over again with Parker’s son. The app is filled with interesting facts about penguins (did you know that they have tiny spikes on their tongues to help grab slippery fish?), carefully designed to inspire enthusiasm and teach young children about biology.
✓ Learn about biology with dozens of fun facts about penguins and life on the Antarctic
✓ Join in with every stage of a penguin's life - sliding, swimming, hunting, marching, dancing, protecting an egg, hatching a chick - and then start all over again!