Most apps for Apple’s iOS don’t meet my expectations. When I download an app I can usually guess what it will feature and I am usually not blown away by the functionality of an app. The Cars 2 Deluxe Story book App is a different story. This app was easy to use and had more features than I would have expected would come in a story book. Once you and your child use this app, you might not want to bother picking up a normal story book again.
Read on for the full review.
When you open the app a pleasant harp is played and the Disney Digital Books logo is displayed.
You are then taken to what would the front cover page where a guitar and drums are played in a light, fun way to get you excited to start reading the book.
Each page of the book is more engrossing than a normal page of a child’s illustrated story book for several reasons. When you turn to a new page, fun light guitar and drums based music play as the narrator begins to read the words on the page. After the narrator reads the words the music stops. The child can now enjoy looking at the picture without all the noise. The artwork is rich with color looking as if it was painted with a paintbrush. The bright screen makes the colors even more vibrant than a regular picture book.
But we have just begun to understand this revolutionary version of the children’s book. There are many additional features which children are sure to love.These features are housed in a tab in the shape of what appears to be Mickey Mouse reading a book. You see a red book and Mickey’s ears pop out from the top of the book. The tab is located in the middle of the bottom of the page that you have the option of clicking.
When you click this tab many options are displayed including the pages option, the read to me option, the record button, the info button, the paint option, the games option, and the puzzle option. The tab and menu options are not easy to use for a child. But with a parents help, a child can use the features in the menu with ease and enjoyment. There is also an arrow displayed at the right top corner of the app. I turned the page and came to the first page of the book. Then I started exploring all the features included in the tab.
You have the option of using the right or left arrow buttons which are positioned at the right and left top corners of the page. You can use this method, or you can click on the “Pages” icon where you can slide your finger across the small images which represent the pages of the book. You can click on any page and you will be taken there.
The read button gives you option of turning the narrators voice on or off. The narration even includes quotes that uses the actually voices of the celebrity’s who voiced the characters in the movie. You also are given the option to turn the auto-turn pages feature on or off.
With the record button you can record yourself narrating each page of the book. Just click the record button, wait 3 seconds, and then it will record you narrating the words on the page. You can always record over what you have recorded. But once you record your voice you will no longer here the original narrators voice for that page.
The info button shows you how to move between pages and how to use the record feature. And you can also submit your email to receive updates from Disney books.
The last three buttons are for the child to use. They are the paint, games, and puzzle button.
There are 5 pages in the book that give you the option of turning the pictures into black and white images where only the main elements are there-having the color been taken out. You can access these pages through the pages feature or you can wait until you get to those pages by looking out for the paint brush button. To paint the page you choose from a variety of colors. Click on the color and start moving your finger on the part of the picture you’d like to color. You can choose to paint the picture with an array of colors, or you can choose to paint the picture in a way that you move your finger across the picture and the intended colors will be added to that part of the pictures.
The games button includes 2 games. In the first game called Tokyo Lights, you have to watch the traffic lights flash and then tap them in the order they flashed. The pattern eventually becomes complicated requiring heavy concentration and use of the users memory.
The second game is easier to play. You play as Mater in the second game flinging tires onto a wire post containing hub caps. The object of the game is to hit as many hubcaps as possible in the few turns you are given. The games are fun break from the reading.
The final button in the menu is the puzzles button. This could have gone under the games category. There are five puzzles to choose from. Each puzzle is from a picture in the book. You can access the puzzles from the puzzles button, or you can click on the puzzles icon when you reach the pages that have them. You are shown pieced together puzzle and then the pieces are taken out being ready to solve. A child will have fun moving the pieces with their fingers into the correct space. There is an easy, normal, and hard mode.
If there were any more features, the app might have taken away from the point of it being an electronic illustrated story book for children. I have no major complaints with this app. Children will love it. And parents will love reading this book to their children. With beautifully illustrated pages and all of the fun features, this children’s story book app is a must buy.
You can learn more about the Cars 2 App for iOS here.
PROS: Tons of activities for kids, great colors, enjoyment sounds.