Our Overall rating: 4.25
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The Lettermen go on a Picnic

August 19, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

This fun digital storybook under the category "Education" is interactive in a way that not only makes reading fun, but reinforces spelling, reading and sight words. The 'lettermen' themselves are simple but engaging cartoon letters with hands and feet. They are very appealing to kids and have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.

This tale has the 'lettermen' going on a picnic. The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The Lettermen was a series of books created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 1993. According to the information page in the book, "It was never intended to be an educational system or a challenge to any established teaching methods, but both parents and teachers have found that the simple Lettermen stories are useful in showing children how letters form words and words have meanings."

This book has simple settings (tap on the bottom to see them). Page turning 'hands' appear in the upper right and left corners of each page. Tap on the middle 'hand' on the top of any page to trigger the interactive game. The child then needs to touch and drag the lettermen into the right order to spell the word(s) from the page. The word itself appears on the screen as a guide. A small hand on the bottom in the middle lets you quickly exit the game, although it is sometimes hard to see with all the letters bouncing about.

The controls, while plentiful, are a bit touchy. Once you and your child get used to them, this book series is a great edition to any educational e-library for young readers. These books are also plentiful and well priced, available on both iOS & Android. There are 18 books in the series in all. The spelling game portion of the app is a lot of fun and reinforces the storyline and a different word or phrase on each page.

Even without the game, this storybook is perfectly delightful as a standalone app book. And it's particularly nice looking on the iPad, which shows off the fun lettermen and their crazy expressions much better that the small screen ever could. The illustrations are engaging, enhance reading comprehension and recognition of 'sight' words.

[The youtube video below is of The Lettermen go to a party]

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


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The Lettermen go on a Picnic

August 19, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Roger Knights

Stefan Nowak

Length (time):
12 - 20 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 0 - 0


Length (pages):
16 Pages


Story Synopsis - The Lettermen go on a Picnic

The Lettermen go on a picnic in this tale about anthropomorphized letter-guys. Since it was a SUNNY day they decide it's time for a picnic in the country. They pack a nice BASKET of food & CARRY it, along with a MAP on a walk into the countryside. Soon they are tired and decide to rest. Since they are also getting hungry, they decide to MUNCH on some of the goodies they have packed.

When they are FULL they decide to look around, discovering a BULL nearby. Oh, no! The bull chases them and the lettermen RUN away. One of them even has to JUMP over the gate to get away. In their RUSH they forget their picnic things and begin to WORRY about losing them. A few brave lettermen CREEP back into the field to get their stuff.

When they get home they see that the CLOCK says it's not even lunch time. But everything in their basket is already GONE! And WHAT does this mean? Now it's really time for lunch. HOORAY!

[Words above in caps are also part of the spelling activity in the book.]


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Audio on/off, Page Guide, Auto-Play


App Release Date:


Size: 11.37 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



The Lettermen go on a Picnic

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