Ocean Forests is an informative, non-fiction eBook for children ages 6-8. It describes life in the kelp forests deep in the Pacific Ocean and highlights the abundance of animals living and thriving there. Its unique style and solid design elevate it to the level of a TOP PICK for Fun Educational Apps.
Available for download via the iTunes App Store- iPad only!
Ocean Forests is a new title developed by Bright World eBooks for the iPad. More than just a story, it provides a tour of a kelp forest from the ocean bottom up to the canopy layer. Also included is a separate 3D exploration module that allows your child to find out information and fun facts about the many different inhabitants that live there. In addition, there are two fun games that use information learned in the story to answer questions and earn points.
How the App Works-
A helpful tutorial is included at the beginning of Ocean Forests. It explains all the features and how they can be accessed. The story includes both “Read to Me” and “Read By Myself” options to accommodate different levels. A third option allows a parent or child to record his own voice reading the text. A glossary is available for key terms that may be new to your child; by touching the word, a definition pops up. There is a volume panel in the lower left hand corner that allows you to adjust the balance between the narrator, the background music, and the sound effects.
In the 3D exploration module, the animation is so lifelike that your child gets the sensation of scuba diving. By sweeping your finger, you get a panoramic view (side to side or top to bottom) of the kelp; this helps you gain a better perspective of the vastness of the kelp forest. The images of the kelp fronds undulating in the current and the light shimmering down from above are truly remarkable. Simply touch on one of the highlighted creatures to hear a short explanation of how that animal is part of the underwater ecosystem.
There are two games included in the game module, Retrieve our Subs and Mind Match. The objective in Retrieve our Subs is to grab the sub with the correct answer while avoiding the other subs and the swimming fish. Mind Match is a memory game that requires you to match the name of the animal with its picture. Both games include three levels for different abilities.
What Fun Educational Apps Liked-
In order for an app to be considered a TOP PICK, it must have the following:
- a clear purpose on the part of the developer
- well-designed pages that are bright, colorful, and appealing
- a user interface and instructions that a child can understand (with a little help)
- some form of animation, movement, or action; otherwise, it's just a series of digital pages
- technical excellence; no crashing or broken links
- professional narration (for story apps)
In addition, we look for one of more of these "extras":
- three dimensional objects or images
- clever or unexpected animations
- captivating artwork
- high quality background music or sound effects
- rich and descriptive vocabulary (for story apps)
In a Nutshell-
Ocean Forests offers a beautiful audio-visual experience of being deep in a kelp forest, among some unique and fascinating animals. At Fun Educational Apps, we think your child will be captivated by this eBook, so we have named it our latest TOP PICK in the category of science and nature apps.
RRP - $/€ 2.99 - £2.29
At the time of this review, Ocean Forests contains no ads, nor does offer in-app purchases or links to social media.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP), currently working in an school setting with students, who have special needs. Her goal is to provide reviews that are specific, relevant, and informative for parents, homeschoolers, tutors, and teachers.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.