APP OF THE DAY: The Land of Me: Story Time review (iPad)
The iPad is transforming itself into quite a powerful reading tool these days. The arrival of iBooks 2 and an increasing number of learning-orientated applications has turned Apple's tablet into a bit of a kids' favourite.
Provided you don't mind risking your beloved Apple product into the hands of your favourite youngling, it can be perfect bedtime story fodder. The extra interactivity it offers makes the whole reading experience just that little bit juicier for the young ones.
Recently announced as part of the Land of Me Ladybird book release, which grabbed a Bafta nomination we might add, is Story Time. Ranking among one of our favourite kids' apps so far, it lets you construct your own story out of a series of pre-determined heroes, themes and endings.
The app is aimed at children aged between two and six, prime Peppa Pig territory should your kids be getting bored of that app by now. Fire it up and you are confronted with all the usual bright colours and art style that you expect from a children's book. The interesting thing is that Story Time does a lot of it with a slight twist, falling somewhere between a Guerillaz music video and a Cat in the Hat book. This does mean that the visuals at least will keep the adults doing the reading interested.
At launch, you are confronted with a turtle called Granny Olive. She is the guide in charge of all your storytelling adventures and will get you started on constructing a tale. It is all incredibly simple to do and shouldn't prove too problematic for even the youngest of family members.
You can actually change the text of the book, a bit like old ZX Spectrum RPGs, changing the ultimate outcome of the story. There are also useful tips planted on the screen in big bright and bold letters, should your kids get stuck for ideas or simply not quite understand what they are doing.
The Land of Me is already an enjoyable series of children's book titles and it's nice to see the universe being translated on to the iPad. More is promised, but this free app is a perfect way to get started on involving your children with at least some of your iPad-related activities. Just make sure they wash their hands before using it - don't want any greasy fingerprints now do we?
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