An engaging ABC book camouflages the letters of the alphabet within critters.
When the hidden letter in the animal on each page of this ABC book is touched, it turns orange, along with all the other iterations of the letter on the page. The sharp, crisply designed illustrations offer just the right level of challenge and will appeal to little ones. (A lowercase “i” forms a stripe on the nose of the impala, for instance.) The cadence and rhyming patterns mostly work: “Sidney the squirrel smells snapdragons and sneezes, / while Tobias the turtle giggles and teases,” although there are some strained moments. There is also an animation on each screen, although it’s not always easy to discover how to get it to work. A screen at the end of the app encourages little ones to choose letters and trace them, which affords excellent practice in a critical early literacy skill. The app provides some tips under the settings button for ways that adults can enhance kids’ learning experience. It is a pity that the music cannot be turned off without also losing narration and sound effects. Another issue is that there is no way to navigate other than page-forward and -back. An additional feature that would greatly improve this app would be to have the narrator speak the letter itself when it is touched.
An appealing, developmentally appropriate effort that could be enhanced by a few tweaks. (iPad alphabet app. 3-6)