Our Overall rating: 3.25
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Duck, Dog & Bear Go to Africa

November 7, 2016

By: Cynthia Gregory


A simple storybook about three friends traveling to Africa.

This is the story of Duck, Dog and Bear traveling in Africa where they meet new animals such as a monkey, elephant and giraffe. The story is 16 pages of single sentences written in rhyme and targeted to children two to four years old. The app is narrated on each page when a button is pushed and illustrations are manipulated by hitting the "tap" button. The app has music, but minimally. Pages can be moved forward or backward by tapping the page arrows, swiping left or right or by choosing from the page selection.

There are two ways to approach this app. The first is to view it as more of an iBook since that medium usually offers fewer features and relies more on the story as a selling point. The second is to look at this app as compared to what is possible with similar books in the app store. As a typical children's iBook, this app is priced at the high end of bestselling authors and classics which sell between $1.99 and $4.99. This app offers many of the same things as one would expect from an iBook with simple layout and more attention to the story than interactivity. When looking at this app compared to other children's books in the app store and what is possible to elicit conversation and learning as well as child interest, the developer needs to make some decisions about how to improve as I'll discuss below.

In a book in the app store, typically narration is professional and there are settings to turn on or off the narration including whether or not a user wants narration to begin automatically when a page is turned. Page turning is also an option that can be turned to auto or manual. This apps narration is done well, but there is white noise throughout hinting that this was a home job. Interactivity is a big deal in children's apps. Even at a young age, toddlers expect to have something happen when they touch something of interest. This app gives children a very narrow margin of interaction. Touching the "tap" button produces movement in the illustration, but also cuts off narration so they cannot be activated at the same time. Tapping on words or items on a page have no feedback for users.

This app has very nice and colorful illustrations and while the story is easy to follow, it's not terribly gripping for this age group. I gifted the app to a friend in this age group and she said that her son enjoyed making the plane and train appear, but was not concerned about the story and had to be bribed with a snack to stay involved.

While the app has no technical issues, I would like to see some more bulk with interactivity in future updates even if all that is included are some questions about the story to bring about conversation at the end or dispersed through the story.

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.

Emily B

This guest review was originally published by SmartAppsforKids.com on August 23, 2016

The author of this review, Cynthia, made sure she had Toto's "Africa" playing while writing this review. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Duck, Dog & Bear Go to Africa

November 7, 2016

By: Carisa Kluver

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Joan Hausman/Mary Marsh

TaleSpring LLC

Length (time):
4 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 5 +

English •

Length (pages):
16 Pages


Story Synopsis - Duck, Dog & Bear Go to Africa

From iTunes:

Share in the adventures of Duck, Dog, and Bear with your 2 - 4 year old in the animated storybook, "Duck, Dog, and Bear go to Africa". Smile as you hear and see the frolic and fun of our intrepid trio exploring the African plain. Enjoy the action by reading the story together or having the story be read aloud. Encourage the young child to ask about new and different things - maybe even “Hairy and Scary” animals!

List of Features:
• A charming story with beautifully illustrated animal characters that are sure to engage a 2-4 year old.

• Bright colors and strong graphics are appealing to the young reader.

• Q & A is encouraged throughout the story: Where is Africa? What is scary? What makes these animals different than Duck, Dog, and Bear? Should our trio run away? and on and on...

• Press “the bee button” to read the story together or have the story read aloud.

• Even the youngest child sees the characters move and interact. Tapping the red tap button animates the characters and shows what they do.

• Swipe left/right or tap on the arrow buttons to turn pages.

Discussion Points

• Who are your friends? Do they look like you? . . . or different?
• What is your favorite activity to do with your friends?
• Do you have animals in your neighborhood? Are they big or small?
• Do Duck, Dog, and Bear expect to encounter unusual animals in Africa? What is their first thought?
• What is scary? What makes these animals look different from Duck, Dog, and Bear?

Duck, Dog, and Bear learn a valuable lesson as the new animals they thought were scary were not at all. A new friendship starts as the intrepid trio realizes these different looking animals can become great friends. Come along and have some fun with your friends, new and old.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, PageGuide

App Release Date:


Size: 24.65 MB

Version: 1.00

Lite Version Available: No



Duck, Dog & Bear Go to Africa

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