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On Beyond Zebra! - Dr. Seuss

February 24, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Travel beyond Z to a world of Seussical letters ...

On Beyond Zebra! was published in print in 1955 and details a full alphabet in the imaginative Seussical land 'beyond Z'. Told in verse, with detailed but low-color illustrations (blue, red, black) common in picture books of that era. The digital version, created by Oceanhouse Media, is a treat for young readers, with enhancements that give it a modern feel without losing any of the charm of the original print title. The nonsensical set of new letters in this title are complex and fanciful, engaging today's young readers as much as their parents and grandparents. According to Wikipedia:

"Judith and Neil Morgan, Geisel's biographers, note that most of the letters resemble elaborate monograms, 'perhaps in Old Persian'. These letters are not officially encoded in Unicode, but the independent ConScript Unicode Registry provides an unofficial assignment of code points in the Unicode Private Use Area for them."

Every one of Dr. Seuss' stories has been seamlessly translated into a new digital classic by Oceanhouse Media. Enhancements are primarily educational and focused on word recognition, although lots of interesting sound effects connect the images with word meanings for young listeners. Great narration with highlighting word-by-word reinforces the text and if a child taps on any word, it is spoken again (tap-to-hear) for additional text reinforcement. If you tap on an image in the illustrations, the word will appear with accompanying audio. And as a bonus, if that image is present in the text of the page, that word will highlight again, too.

This book has the detailed illustrations that make Seuss books so popular, but like most Dr. Seuss OmBook apps, this title isn't animated. However, most pages begin by panning over Seuss' classic original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each chunk of text in a nicely paced reading experience. Extra features include the ability to record your own narration as well as excellent navigation with a nice visual thumbnail page guide. Ample settings allow adults to set the book up with or without audio and interactive elements. Links that leave the app are contained exclusively in the 'info' section under a parental gate that requires fluid reading and following complex directions.

On Beyond Zebra! is a delightful read, made even more accessible to a new generation with digital enhancements well-suited to a modern audience. The messages within Seuss books can be subtle, making for rich converstations with young people and engaging extension activities in classroom settings. In print and digital, Dr. Seuss is tops with young and old alike, precisely because his books make learning to read (and reading to learn) FUN!

Highly Recommended!

This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.

 







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On Beyond Zebra! - Dr. Seuss

February 24, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

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Author/Illustrator:
Dr. Seuss/

Developer:
Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
15 - 20 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:
No

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 9 +

Languages:
English •

Length (pages):
32 Pages

 

Story Synopsis - On Beyond Zebra! - Dr. Seuss

Join young Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell and his friend in this interactive book app as they create a nonsensical alphabet beyond the letter Z! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. From a Yuzz-a-ma-Tuzz to a Wumbus and a Glikker, come see how far beyond Z you can go! [Source: iTunes]

The young narrator, not content with the confines of the ordinary alphabet, invents additional letters beyond Z, with a fantastic creature corresponding to each new letter. For example, the letter "FLOOB" corresponds to the Floob-Boober-Bab-Boober-Bubs, which have large buoyant heads and float serenely in the water. In order, the letters, followed by the animals that correspond to them, are: YUZZ (Yuzz-a-ma-Tuzz), WUM (Wumbus), UM (Umbus), HUMPF (Humpf-Humpf-a-Dumpfer), FUDDLE (Miss Fuddle-dee-Duddle), GLIKK (Glikker), NUH (Nutches), SNEE (Sneedle), QUAN (Quandary), THNAD (Thnadners), SPAZZ (Spazzim), FLOOB (Floob-Boober-Bab-Boober-Bubs), ZATZ (Zatz-it), JOGG (Jogg-oons), FLUNN (Flunnel), ITCH (Itch-a-pods), YEKK (Yekko), VROO (Vrooms), and HI! (High Gargel-orum). The book ends with an unnamed letter that apparently is a monogram of all 26 letters in the existing Latin alphabet from A to Z. A list of all the additional letters is shown at the end. [Source: Wikipedia]

 

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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal

Options:

Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, SFX/Music Volume Control, Record Narration, Page Guide, Info w/ Links: (under parental gate) to: AppStore, Web, Email, FB, Twitter

App Release Date:
2013-08-21

 






Size: 46.06 MB

Version: 2.5

Lite Version Available: No

 

 

On Beyond Zebra! - Dr. Seuss

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