March 20, 2014 marked the 45th birthday of Eric Carle’s beloved book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To celebrate StoryToys released a fantastic new app called The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends: Play And Explore. Parents and Children who have grown up with Eric Carle’s works are sure to recognize characters from several of his books including Brown Bear, The Very Quiet Cricket, Mister Seahorse, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Grouchy Ladybug, and Hermit Crab. Indeed, this app feels as if all these characters came together for one awesome birthday party!
There are eight chapters or sections in this app. It features the same beautiful and vibrant illustrations children have come to love in Eric Carle’s books. In addition, it is loaded with wonderful animations, interactive objects, educational information, and a 3d environment. Each chapter has some fun facts about animals or plants from Eric Carle’s books, followed by an activity related to it. The first chapter, for instance, briefly describes the life cycle of a butterfly and includes some illustrations from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It is then followed by an activity in which children must choose which food the caterpillar should eat. My children like to call the fun facts “science lessons” and that is essentially what they are. The activities are engaging, loads of fun, and help develop skills necessary for learning such as memorization, counting, sorting, and fine motor movement. Activities include a frogger type game, mazes, puzzles, quizzes, and more. One of my daughter’s favorite activities is where she planted a seed and helped it grow by giving it lots of water and sunshine.
In the Fruit Feast game it would be nice for the narrator to count along as the child feeds the caterpillar, e.g. 2 pears and 3 apples. Children can collect badges as they go through the app. An activity badge is earned when an activity is completed in a specified manner. Star badges are earned by playing all the activities, reading the book, and collecting all the activity badges. You can find the badges by clicking on the badge icon in the home menu. Badges can be reset, allowing the child to earn them all over again.
I also noticed that there is often a pop-up message for parents when you open the app, whether it is to rate the app or subscribe to their newsletter. I think it would be better if the pop-ups come up only within the parent center since it is geared for parents and not for the children. I would like my child to enjoy the app without having to click through pop-ups.
Overall, my children and I loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends: Play And Explore. It is a celebration of Eric Carle’s work that provides hours of fun, develops early learning skills, and teaches a few facts about animals and plants. I am sure that every child who is a fan of Eric Carle’s books will enjoy it and want to play it over and over again.
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 April 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. 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.
StoryToys Entertainment Limited
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
English • French • Spanish •German •Japanese •
The beloved characters of Eric Carle are now available in The Very Hungry Caterpillar™ & Friends - Play & Explore, a stunning 3D pop-up app featuring fun and educational games and activities.
• Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar™, Mister Seahorse, The Very Quiet Cricket and other characters from Eric Carle’s best-selling books Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, The Mixed-Up Chameleon and 10 Little Rubber Ducks
• Practice counting, sorting, and memory skills
• Learn about healthy eating, and discover amazing facts about caterpillars, seahorses, chameleons and other animals.
• Includes five language versions in a single app: English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese!