There are many children's book library type apps available in the app store. Blackfish Children's Books - Bedtime Lite Apps Customizable Kids Free Interactive Stories HD is one of the newest. Like most of the children's book libraries, this has a selection of books to choose from, but offers something new and different as well. Some of the stories are fully customizable -from characters to readability. This is a nice change from the normal download.
Blackfish Children's Books opens up to a library menu for viewers to browse a selection of free or paid book apps. All of the books you choose to install will be available in your library, and some download as independent apps (though they link back to the Blackfish app smoothly). At the time of this post, the app offers books ranging from free to $.99 to $2.99. For the sake of this review, I downloaded 2 books: I'm Scared and Night Before Xmas.
I'm Scared is a fully customizable story that really gives parents and teachers a lot of options. The idea is to create a story to help children deal with night time fears. It's a cute story about meeting a scary creature, befriending him/her, and traveling to his/her world. In the Customize menu, adults can change the character, friend's name, friend's world, creature text, and if it is a boy or girl. On the next screen, parents can customize the child's gender, name, age, favorite food, etc. All of these details turn up in the story, making it a very personal experience. My favorite part was the fact that the story could be customized for age levels 2-5, 5-8, or rhyming text. The story changes completely for each level making it easy to understand for the target audience. The story itself is cute and could be used as a springboard for a conversation about overcoming fears. The character change allows parents to create a story most suited for their own child. To make it even more personal, adults can record their own narration for the story.
Night Before Xmas is the traditional story by Clement C. Moore. This app is customizable in the sense that a new narration can be recorded by the parent or child. Music, sound, and automatic narration volumes can also be configured. These are the only customizable features for this story. The story follows the traditional plot, progressing by hitting more or the page arrows. Children can also search for the hidden animation in each picture.
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This app's customizable options are unique as compared to other children's book libraries. I liked all of the personal touches that could be added to the I'm Scared story. It makes the experience for unique to the reader. I particularly liked the readability change. At the age 2-5 level, each page is only a sentence or two. At the 5-8 age level, the pages each have a short paragraph and have more in-depth details. This feature makes this app nice for parents with a variety of age levels at home. I also liked that the pages of the books had a single hidden animation. Readers don't get sucked into "playing" with the pages and can focus on the story. I'd like to see more of the books have this fully customizable feature.
Overall, this is a unique children's book library with some really nice customizable features. Parents will be happy with options to make the stories personal for their children. With a selection of both free and paid stories, everyone will find a book they are happy with.
Blackfish Children's Books - Bedtime Lite Apps Customizable Kids Free Interactive Stories HD is available for download via the iTunes App Store - UNIVERSAL APP
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