Do you know the names of lots of dinosaurs? Well ... "there might be some that you just don't know about yet," according to this fun book app about Sid, the surfing dinosaur. Haven't heard of Sid? Well, you're in for a treat! Based on a 2003 out-of-print title, Sid and his friend Dally discover the joy of riding the waves one day, using wooden planks to balance on. Then an ice-age comes so quickly that the pair are frozen mid-surf in different parts of the ocean.
The two are inexplicably unharmed by eons of time on ice, because when things get warmer, they find themselves back on the waves near a modern beach. "Everything looks different now, but the waves are still the same and it sure is a Surfasaurus kinda swell!" says Sid. Hardly scientifically accurate, but still a seriously good read.
Kids will love the story and music, too. Sid and Dally have a theme album of three original songs (also available through iTunes). You can play each from a different page within the story. The illustrations are expressive and cartoonish in a way kids will love, telling the story as much as the text.
This title was developed using QBook™, a digital picture book format designed by Kiwa Media. I have reviewed other books using this format, and it guarantees a well-made book reading experience. It features easy page turning and two wonderful enhancements for young readers, Touch-to-Hear and Touch-to-Spell. With these two features, a young reader can tap on any word to hear it spoken and double tap to hear the word spelled. In addition, the text highlights as read by an Australian narrator.
Every QBook is also a digital coloring book. Each page becomes a line drawing that kids can color and save into the app to personalize it. Narration can also be personalized with the easy-to-use recording feature, rounding out this polished book. Overall, this app has lots of replay value and an emphasis on quality storytelling. There is no animation or interactivity, but the flexible settings, educational enhancements and coloring pages make up for any disappointment. Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Clare Macken/Ben Brown
KIWA International Ltd
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
Long ago dinosaurs lived on earth. Sid and his best friend Dally were two of them, looking for some tasty leaves to eat. They are startled by some 'meat-eaters' and run for their lives into a nearby river. But the waves are strong and the two friends struggle to stay afloat, grabbing onto a log. After they are once again on dry land, Sid realizes he kinda enjoyed the waves ... he might even try it again.
Soon Sid is out on the water, using a plank of wood instead of the rolling log. He starts surfing! Then he teaches Dally to surf. Every morning after that they head for waves ... until one day something isn't right. A nearby volcano had erupted and when the pair returns to shore they find the world has utterly changed. An ice-age had begun and before they know it, Sid & Dally are frozen inside a wave.
After many thousands of years, the icebergs began to melt and Sid is freed and alive (inexplicably unharmed by his eons on ice). He is shocked to find himself in a modern world, where he and Dally reunite, both saved from extinction by a (not so) killer wave. "You took your time ... My iceberg melted months ago," says Dally, adding without hesitation, "Surf's up!"