A mini-almanac doubles as a cumulative travel book in this survey of various countries.
The opening screen displays a world map decorated with the flags of seven countries: Brazil, Spain, Egypt, Kenya, India, Australia and the United States. When readers tap on a flag, they are transported to that location, where they are offered three options: learn, play or create. In “learn” mode, readers can scroll through a large, colorful menu of musical instruments, animals and traditional food/clothing that are representative of that region. Tapping on an item summons a corresponding text box that explains it. Unfortunately, there’s not a narrative option for descriptions, which would make them more accessible to preschoolers. “Play” mode is a musical party of sorts, where tapping on a character prompts it to play a musical instrument or offer other cultural contributions (a bullfighter waves his cape and says, “Arriba,” for example). Finally, readers can opt for “create” mode, which is essentially a storyboard on which animal and instrument stickers can be placed. Once complete, readers can take a picture of their creations or even generate a video by moving stickers around while an “hourglass” drains. Photos and videos are automatically added to the travel book; the app also offers Facebook and Twitter integration, as well as sending creations via email or just saving them to your camera roll.
A fun first step into cultural awareness. (iPad 2+ recommended) (iPad storybook app. 2-6)