Nearly 100 years ago, my own grandmother (a native to South Dakota), stood on the nose of one of the carved presidential heads while Mount Rushmore was being built. I told my child this family history and then we began reading this adorable book app together. Two cute mice star in this cartoon-style title about Mount Rushmore from the creators of ABCmouse.com (a fee-based pre-school/kindergarten website with learning games and books). Their names are "123" and "ABC" and they explore this natural wonder in a way that will captivate young readers and listeners. This app doesn't have any fancy enhancements, but it makes up for this with a fun storyline, music, and expressive narration for each character.
The story begins with the mice inside what looks like a box with a window facing out; readers will soon realize that these two friends are actually inside a computer and the window is the 'screen'. They can travel anywhere in the world through the Internet, magically traveling in this episode to a computer in South Dakota. In this episode they arrive at their destination through a smartphone in the hand of a little girl who is learning about the monument. This fun way of exploring natural history, geography and science will have kids (and adults) learning new facts and getting to be the ultimate 'armchair travelers'. There are also two pages at the end of the book with 'search and explore' ideas for animals that are present in the story.
Text doesn't highlight with the voice-over, however the easy-to-read 'speech bubbles' for the cartoon characters are at the perfect reading level for 2nd/3rd grade. Kids love these types of cartoons and will really enjoy this app. Simple settings are included that allow the book to be set up with or without narration. In 'I Can Read It' mode, it is not obvious at first that you need to tap the page several times before turning, to get each new speech bubble (the text goes away and an arrow appears once you've seen all the dialogue, making it is easy to use otherwise).
The biggest issue, however is that the app is not very stable, crashing frequently on all the devices we tested it on. At one point we had to delete and reinstall the app to continue the review process, which suggest the developer needs to take a look at a major bug fix for this title. A page-guide would also be a very nice addition, since there is no way to navigate this book besides the 'home' button. Links in this children's app are also NOT under a parental gate, something essential to add with the COPPA compliance law that took effect in July 2013.
But once we got the book to work properly, the story itself was exceptional at engaging my child in this early reader series - it even includes a glossary for words children might need help defining within the story. There is also a fun "Mount Rushmore" theme song. Children will certainly enjoy this book app, but it is also a great title for teaching about history, culture and the natural world.
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.
Note: ABCMouse.com is a subscription based website for children, featuring educational games and stories for early literacy. These free apps contain advertising for this online reading program.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Age of Learning, Inc.
8 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 6 +
Features of this book include:
Realistic page turning - Swipe your finger or click on a corner.
Read to Me – The Book reads aloud with professional narration and music.
Read with Pause – The reader turns the pages and can read along with the narrator.
I Can Read It – The reader reads the book all by themselves.
Glossary – Readers can select the glossary on pages to learn the meaning of difficult words through simple explanations.
Clickable Search & Explore - On certain pages, kids can click on the animals that they find to hear the names of the animals read aloud.
Fun Facts - Filled with fun facts about the Mount Rushmore that will educate and amaze your child. There may even be things that the parents don't know!
Fully Produced Song - Listen to the entire Mount Rushmore song as song by the award-winning ABCmouse.com team at the end of the book.
Age of Learning, Inc. and ABCmouse.com respects the privacy of you and your family. Our applications do not track or store any personally identifiable information from you or your child.
Look for other ABCmouse.com apps at ABCmouse.mobi
For an exciting new way for your child to learn - please visit ABCmouse.com
This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.
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