The Tree I See is an interactive storybook developed for the iPhone and iPad by Aridan Books. Created to help improve children's recall ability and working memory, this app has a simple story with delightful animations. Its different musical components and subtle reader interactions make the story a nice addition to any interactive library.Free on September 22
The Tree I See is a cute story based on a tree and who is befriended by a boy and the forest animals. It has a subtle moral reminding us that even if we feel alone, our friends are still close by. The app is narrated nicely while a drop down box shows the words highlighted as they are read. The word box returns to the corner when the narrator finishes to offer the full page for exploration. The app has constant animation throughout the story, but then small additional interactions with the reader. Touch the tree or the characters to incite a spoken phrase, or tap the cloud or leaves to move them on screen. A few pages have additional activities like putting together a bird's nest or beehive. The developer also says that by tilting the screen you can view some 3D affects. While I can see the layers of animation and the 3D component, they may be too subtle for young readers.
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This app has a nice story line that young readers will enjoy. The ongoing animations are engaging and the subtle reader interactions don't take away from the book experience. With at least one small interaction on each page - and as the story progresses, more than one, the reader will remain engaged as they explore the story scenes. Plus, the story's moral is one that readers can identify with, especially as it correlates to being afraid of the dark. The app has a nice feel to it and its simple story and animations are clean and delightful. As a parent, I also liked the fully customizable volume levels for all the various facets found in the settings. The default settings make the story the loudest part with the sound effects and music being secondary.
Overall, The Tree I See is a sweet story with a sound moral. The animations are engaging and pretty and the reader interactions are subtle enough to not take away from the experience of reading or listening to the story. This interactive storybook would be a nice reading experience with young readers.
The Tree I See is available for download from the iTunes App Store: Universal App iPad/iPhone/iPod
RRP - $2.99/£1.99/€2.69 - Free July 31
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education and you read her findings at The iLesson Lady .
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.