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CUTIE MONSTERS by Evette Shomali


Jigsaw Puzzles

by Evette Shomali & illustrated by Paul Smith & Yulia M & developed by Paul Smith

Pub Date: Dec. 21st, 2012
Publisher: Little Phoenix Interactive

An app that’s high on cuteness and low on actual counting skills.

This app features 10 playful monsters, reminiscent of the popular Ugly Dolls, with text that encourages readers to count items from one to 10. “Blushy has one curly tail. / Toothy has two horrible horns.” Toddlers will laugh at the colorful monsters and their goofy, mostly apropos names. With a touch, the monster wiggles and makes a silly sound, and the relevant numeral appears in a clear, large type. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this app will help young children learn to count, as there are no interactive features prompting children to touch and count the item in question. The app has three modes: read it myself, “touch read” words and jigsaw puzzle. With the “touch read” option, readers must tap individual words to hear them spoken aloud. This keeps young readers attentive to the app, but it requires them to tap the words in the correct order for a full sentence. The jigsaw-puzzle activity is well designed for toddlers and preschoolers, with three to six simple pieces each. This app will help children learning to count if they read it with an adult as they would a picture book, but it does not take advantage of the iPad’s interactive features to reinforce counting skills.

The cutie monsters live up to their name, but that's about it.

(iPad storybook app. 2-5)