A to Sea by Josh and Donna Wilson of The Happy Dandelion is not your ordinary ABC book. Every page, including the cover page, has beautiful interactive graphics combined with soothing narration and audio. The book app comes in both iPhone and iPad versions, this review is of the iPad version.
Each letter in the alphabet is represented by a sea creature with an anecdotal description. You can either read the text on your own, or click on it to have it read it out loud. Click or tilt the screen to move the sea creature, see an animation, and/or hear sounds. Clicking on the bottom of the screen brings up a small banner with an interesting fact about the sea creature. These extra facts are not narrated, it would be nice to be able to have them read aloud too. The banner also contains the home button which will take you back to the home screen.
The pictures, animations, and sounds on each page make you feel as if you have been magically transported to a serene beach, walking along the shore, and taken a dive in the beautiful big blue sea. Children will be delighted with all the interactive items while learning an interesting fact or two about each creature they encounter. A to Sea contains no external links, which makes this app excellent for little ones to play even on their own. A URL is listed on the credits page for parents to type in to their browser should they choose to (and I believe they will) get more information about The Happy Dandelion and other apps they offer.
One thing I would like to see possibly included in future updates are letter sounds. For example, clicking on the letter A will bring up an audio that says “The letter A sounds like ah or a.” Overall, A to Sea is an excellent app that teaches children their alphabet and instills appreciation for the sea and its inhabitants at the same time.
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.
This review was originally published by TheiMums.com on February 5, 2014. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews. The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America.
Guest author Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Joshua and Donna Wilson
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 2 - 5 +
English • French •
Splish and Splash your way through this fully interactive A to Z animal alphabet featuring 26 pages of exciting sea creatures.
Fish swim (and fly!) Sharks chomp! Pufferfish inflate!
Includes original writing as well as hand painted art by Donna Wilson, narration, fun educational facts and lots and lots of interactive features on every page.