Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep is written and narrated by Karen Inglis and developed by Well Said Press for the iPad. It can be enjoyed in two ways, with a Read by Myself or a Read to Me option. The instructions are intuitive and simple enough for even a very young child to understand. The red arrows at the bottom indicate “Go to the next page” (right arrow) or “Go back” (left arrow). Common vocabulary words are reinforced on each page as your child touches the pictures and hears the words. At the end of the story, there is a short word matching activity that reinforces the same vocabulary.
Ferdinand Fox, like all foxes, is shy and quiet. When Peter discovers Ferdinand asleep in his backyard, at first he is surprised, then curious. He watches from a distance and slowly approaches the sleeping fox. Eventually, he gets close enough to snap a photo, and then goes back inside to give Ferdinand more time to rest. A little later, the bells of St. Mary’s chime for 5:00; Peter looks out to check on Ferdinand and finds he is gone.
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I often tell parents that there is a difference between reading to a child and reading with a child. It doesn’t take much effort to read the words on the page. It is so much more beneficial, however, to talk about the story along the way and elicit comments and questions from your child. This helps develop what educators call background knowledge.
Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep meets all of my basic criteria for a story app and more. Although some adults cringe at the thought of stories that rhyme, I found that if they are well done, verses with rhythm and rhyme appeal to young children who are just learning how language is used. The lines in this story are well-written, as evidenced by the fact that they flow as they are read.
Ferdinand Fox comes to the App Store from Great Britain. The author/narrator has a lovely accent that enhances her telling of the story. She makes reference to a few items that may be unfamiliar to non-Brits (such as blancmange and cream buns), but this does not diminish the story’s appeal. The illustrations are good, but I notice a lot of empty white space on the pages. I also find that the animations are very basic and do not add much to the story. All in all, Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep would make a nice addition to your child’s digital library.
Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad/iPad mini/iPad Air
At the time of this review, Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep provides a safe, secure environment, with no access to social media, no ads, and no in-app purchases. There is a web link, but it is accessible only from a protected parent portal. Parents can be confident that their children’s privacy is protected when using this app.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.