The Adventures of Robin Hood was a childhood favorite of mine and I was excited to share it with my daughter, Madelynn. We chose the read-it-to-me and up-to-five-years-old options and started reading.
The story is broken up into five chapters and at the beginning of each chapter, the player can move treasure around to reveal a hidden picture. On some of the pages, there are mini games, such as find Robin Hood helping the soldiers take the castle.
What we liked: Each page has colorful pictures and a full, cartoon-like animation of what is happening in the text. The female narrator has a very pleasant voice and alters it for the different characters. Each word is highlighted when read and the reader can change the font style from print to cursive.
The reader has the option to pause the story and use a show-me tab, which is available on each page. When activated, certain words are underlined and can be clicked on to view a pop-up window with an illustration and hear the vocabulary word is repeated.
Using the six-year-old-and-up option, the reader can opt to have the vowels highlighted. The show-me words can still be underlined, but an option is added for additional vocabulary words, using an explain-it-to-me tab. Sometimes the word shows up in both tabs, which enhances the learning experience.
The story can be told in six languages.
This is our first app from Chocolapps and we enjoyed this retelling of a classic fairy tale. It is reasonably priced at $3.99.
What we didn't like: When using the show-me and explain-it-to-me tabs, many of the words need to be touched several times to activate. That's a farily large flaw. Also, the voice for these section is not that of the narrator.
I also wonder why the developers chose not to have the definition read out loud in the explain-it-to me tab. As both a teacher and a parent, I feel that this is a vital component needed to complete the learning lesson.
I am also not sure this app needed to split the age groups. The vocabulary in the story did not change between the groups, meaning both versions have challenging words such as volley, traitorously, and ridiculous. The only difference between the two is option buttons at the bottom of each page.
There are no instuctions, so I had a hard time not only figuring out what to do in each mini-game, and just like clicking on the vocabulary, had a hard time getting the game started. I admit I failed during the archery section, but did excel at finding Robin Hood.
The inclusion of a review of the words at the end of the story might also be a beneficial addition, as would the option of recording the player’s own voice. If you are looking to teach reading strategies, other than the vocabulary, you are on your own to guide the story and lead discussions, such as what happened to Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
All in all, it looks and sounds great, but needs a few revisions.
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This review was completed by Jessica Jensen. Even though she failed at archery, her mastery score in The Michael Jackson Experience remains unbroken. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.