A prehistoric saber-toothed cat roams in search of his next meal in this introduction for preschoolers.
Based on a 2005 book-and-CD kit, this app provides basic information in a solid, if not particularly exciting, package. “Saber-Tooth Tiger opens his mighty jaws and lets out a powerful roar. His two long saber teeth are an awesome sight.” The saber-toothed tiger encounters dire wolves, a mastodon and a massive Harlan ground sloth. The gory details of the hunt are kept off-screen, making this story well-suited for preschoolers. The Oceanhouse Media platform delivers clean navigation, high-quality text support for developing readers, and good narration and sound effects. Readers can listen to the story read aloud or try to read it by themselves, tapping on individual words if they need assistance. Although there is no animation, the app effectively uses the original illustrations, supplementing the narration with dramatic sound effects. Adults will appreciate that they can easily turn off the sound effects in the easy-to-use options feature. Readers can also record their own narration. The backmatter is narrated, providing young readers with access to further information about Smilodon, the species of saber-toothed cat in this story—a nice touch.
This straightforward app will appeal to young readers fascinated by the prehistoric period. (iPad informational app. 4-8)