A bright and appealing introduction to different professions ultimately falls short of its ambitions.
Colorful illustrations showing 16 different occupations will engage young children as they think about jobs they might do when they grow up. The cartoons have a hip, trendy feel, and there is a refreshing range of nationalities, ethnicities and genders represented. While this app is designed to promote vocabulary, spelling and reading development, though, it does so with limited success. The beginning levels introduce the names of the different professions, either on autoplay loop for very young children or with limited interactivity for toddlers. Families wanting to introduce different languages will appreciate the ease of switching among six different languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Catalan. However, the subsequent learning-to-read levels (there are five in all) progress too quickly without adequate support. New readers will have great difficulty sounding out or learning to spell words such as “entrepreneur” or “journalist.” While the “Easy spelling” level provides shadowed letters to guide children in dragging and dropping the scattered letter “tiles” to spell the occupation pictured, the next level provides no scaffolding or support. The full sentences in the final level are complex sentences inappropriate for beginning readers, especially when reading in a new language.
Fun? Yes. But not particularly helpful for developing vocabulary or reading skills beyond the initial level. (iPad informational app. 2-5)