AppDictions App Review
Some of the most fun a child—or an adult for that matter—can have is to be around harmless mischief. This is the reason why naughty children have constantly been cast as protagonists in films and books geared towards the youth. They are relatable, exciting and more importantly have room to grow. The lessons that can be gained by mischievous characters are very meaningful as it inspires positive change—with the young viewers as well.
Selma Mariudottir’s brand new release aims to make a positive influence through a more modern medium for children’s literature—technology and gadgets. Their latest offering, Perky Pranksters: Have Fun in the Country, shines the spotlight on our furry friends who are off in an unforgettable and educational adventure.
This is the first one in the Perky Pranksters series, and here three adorable characters are introduced. There’s the good cat Dapper, the naughty cat Genie and the single dog in the gang, Rex. The trio make the journey throughout the book worthwhile, with the happy personalities and absorbing storyline.
The full page illustrations are very vivid. At times, it almost seems as if you are watching a television series instead of indulging in a good read. Children will enjoy the wonderful characterizations on the screen, set against a colorful backdrop that’s clean and simple. Clean and simple summarizes how the app appears. It does not clutter, has a neat layout and is not overwhelming to young eyes.
While older kids can opt to read the text by themselves, the younger ones can choose the option where it is narrated to them. To practice their reading skills, the text is highlighted as the story goes along. Audio is smooth and clear, with the well-known Debbie Irwin narrating.
Games, a coloring book and interactive effects make this iPad application so much more fun for everyone.
The Perky Pranksters books are many things rolled into one, being entertaining and educational as well as encouraging the child to develop many important skills.
The Perky Pranksters Characters
Genie a very mischievous young cat who is always on the look out for a prank to play. Dapper is a more well-mannered and sensible cat and he does his best to teach Genie some good manners and habits. However, he is not above taking part in the fun and games with Genie. Rex the dog is a bit absentminded and prefers to stay out of trouble, which isn’t always possible when Genie and Dapper are around. These cheeky little pranksters live in Iceland and can’t wait to share their adventures and escapades with children all over the world.
In the first book they learn much about life in the countryside, not all of it pleasant, as Genie finds out when she tries to tease a very large bull – but she manages to escape from harm in the end. Her attempt to go horse riding also ends up … well, not exactly as she expected! Lambs and haymaking, “Happy Eggs” and a misunderstanding about a ghost also feature in this first book.
Producing high quality material for children is the aim of the author, Selma Hronn Mariudottir; stories and activities which are not only fun to read but also develop children’s vocabulary and widen their horizons. The material contains an introduction to verse and rhyming, and in some stories the Pranksters take the children to visit places with a geographical or historical interest.
At present, there are 5 books in the Perky Pranksters series and the first one is now available in English on iPad. More are scheduled to appear later. The stories are both funny and educational and the style used is simple and entertaining. Each illustration is full-page and beautifully executed. There are two verses embedded in each picture with a running text at the bottom.
Children are given the options, Read It Myself, Read to Me and Fun and Games. For the Read to Me section Selma has enlisted the help of Debbie Irwin who, we are sure, is well known to many of you. Her brilliant interpretation of the stories brings the characters to life and makes the funny episodes even funnier. As Debbie reads, the text highlights as narrated, so that children learning to read can easily follow the story.
Educational features of this title include sentence highlighting, and images that are named when tapped, pop-up descriptions of actions performed e.g. “shove” when Dapper pushes the bale of hay, or sounds relevant to the story e.g. laughter. Every page contains these Learn and Explore hidden features, animations and quality sounds.
In the Fun and Games section there are 6 games:
– Meet the Pranksters
– Colouring Book
– Dress up Games
– Musical Games
– Rhyming Games
– Record your Voice
Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.