Mick and his family enjoy a day at the beach in this simple book app for young readers.
It’s the summer holidays, and Mick’s family is enjoying a camping trip near the seaside. He and his father head to the beach to swim in the ocean and play in the sand. The clear, simple language will appeal to beginning readers: “The sea is far away but Mick can hear the waves. He wants to play in the water.” Unfortunately, this app does not include word highlighting, tapping on words or appropriate font size—common features that are very useful for children learning to read independently. When readers tap the words in this app, they simply hear the text for the entire page repeated. The appealing digital cartoon art conveys the happy, relaxed feeling of the family’s leisurely day at the beach. In a particularly nice touch, the beachgoers are depicted with a variety of skin tones. Even though the app is produced by a Dutch company and translated into English, it is only available in English in this version. Interactive features are also simple, so much so that readers may wonder when they should tap and when the images are static.
Although the artwork is appealing, this trip to the beach isn’t worth the drive. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)