From Oxford University Press, this app is based on the early reader series about three siblings, Biff, Chip and Kipper. According to the developer's website (Gazoob.com), the print series is "used to teach reading in 80% of UK primary schools." Families and schools will find this relatively expensive app has a full set of 48 books for ages 4-6. Parents and teachers should note that the narrator for this series has a crisp, clear UK accent along with regional spelling for British English. The set includes:
Level 1: Getting ready to read. Age 4-5 years
Level 2: Starting to read. Age 4-5 years
Level 3: Becoming a reader. Age 4-5 years
Level 4: Developing as a reader. Age 5-6 years
Level 5: Building confidence as a reader. Age 5-6 years
Level 6: Reading with confidence. Age 5-6 years
There are 8 books available for each level, ranging from 10 pages each at level one to nearly 30 pages each for level six. The books are engaging with fun illustrations and storylines. As digital books, these titles are not animated nor do they have interactive sounds or images to tap. However, the apps are well tailored for educational use, with words that highlight along with optional narration. In "Read it Myself" mode, children can also tap words individually to hear them spoken.
As a digital book series, this one is well made and very stable. Navigation within the bookshelf is intuitive although individual books do not have pageguides. Each title includes "Tips for Reading Together" for caregivers, along with a list of letter sounds, words or concepts covered. Each book ends with questions to ask young readers about the story or their reading comprehension. There is also a fun activity at the end of each book, including mazes and other ways to extend young readers' engagement.
The books are available for individual purchase, in-app, within a free version that contains 2 free stories for anyone who would like to check out this series before making the investment in the full set of books. Individual apps are also available for each level, 1-6. This is an excellent resource for classroom use, homeschooling and perhaps a summer program to boost skills or prevent learning loss over school holidays.
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.
Roderick Hunt/Alex Brychta
60 - 90 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 5 +
Level 1-6: The complete series. 48 interactive eBooks included.
Starring the much loved characters from Oxford Reading Tree, Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper complements what children are learning at school and helps parents support their child's development.
---- The Books ----
•Used to teach reading in 80% of UK primary schools.
•First Stories are motivating stories which help new readers practise reading everyday words and develop vocabulary.
•Phonics books are entertaining stories which enable children to practise their letters and sounds just as they do at school.
•Gradual progression and vocabulary repetition helps to build reading confidence.
•Hints and tips – every book provides practical tips and simple ideas for you to use with your child when reading and talking about the story.
•Puzzles and activities – each book encourages your child to have fun looking for details in the story and offers lots of opportunities to talk and practice their reading skills.
---- The Apps ----
The apps are true to the books and focus on learning to read but in a thoroughly modern and enjoyable way.
Read these delightful stories with your child, or listen as each page is read to you. Interact with the page to get the exact pronunciation of each word.
Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper series:
•Level 1: Getting ready to read. Age 4-5 years
•Level 2: Starting to read. Age 4-5 years
•Level 3: Becoming a reader. Age 4-5 years
•Level 4: Developing as a reader. Age 5-6 years
•Level 5: Building confidence as a reader. Age 5-6 years
•Level 6: Reading with confidence. Age 5-6 years