Bottom Line: With all of the animal alphabet apps available in the App Store, it’s pretty hard to find one that stands out. Talking ABC, with its creative claymation, seems to have done just that. Advertised as being for kids ages 2-7, and particularly great for preschoolers learning letter recognition.
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If you search the App Store for animal alphabet apps, you will find that there are literally hundreds to choose from, each with some variation of “A is for alligator, B is for bear,” etc. It takes a little something extra to stand out among all the competition. Talking ABC, from developer Jutiful, happens to have that little something.
Like those other alphabet apps, Talking ABC includes one animal for each letter of the alphabet. Sure, there are the expected, like Alligator, Bear, and Cow. And then there are unusual ones, like Yeti, Newt, and Unicorn. I even had to turn to Google to find that a Xiphias is also commonly known as a swordfish.
The main portion of the app features each capital letter formed in clay. When the user touches the letters, they morph into endearing claymation depictions of animals, with the name spelled out above the animal and spoken out loud. If the user touches the animal, it morphs back into the letter.
Little ones can play the entire alphabet using autoplay if they choose, complete with a fetching little song to get them through it.
The app also includes four mini games:
- Letters — the user is presented with six letters and asked to choose where particular letters are. When the right letters is chosen, it changes into the corresponding animal. If the wrong letter is chose, the letter morphs back into a ball of clay. Directions are verbal rather than written, so even the youngest learners can use the app independently.
- Animals — The user is asked (again, verbally) to choose a particular animal from six choices. If the right one is picked, your little one is rewarded with a little animation and words of encouragement. Pick the wrong one and he or she gets another ball of clay.
- Funny Words — Here kids can spell out the words of their choice to see them written out in clay. Then, when each letter is touched, the word changes into a string of animals. My name is Koala-Elephant-Lion-Lion-Iguana.
- Puzzle — The last game is a block puzzle with a picture of an animal that is solved by rotating each piece to the proper orientation. Once the puzzle is solved, the animal offers cute words of encouragement to your child and then briefly records your little one’s audio reaction and plays it back in a modified voice. This kind of feature is always a winner with my kids. The puzzle game can be played in normal or easy mode.
My kids each had their favorite animals — my son’s was, naturally, the . . . um . . . flatulent koala. We had fun playing this together, with both my preschooler and my elementary aged child enjoying the app.
Talking ABC is pretty darn seamless in its functionality, so if I were to be nitpicky to find a “complaint” for the developer, it would have to be the lack of lower case letters. When working on letter recognition, one is equally as important as the other.
Another improvement might be to have buttons for turning the music and/or voices on and off on the screen while playing, rather than only in the settings section. This also holds true for the “normal/easy” option on the puzzle. Sometimes it is nice to be able to change things on the fly rather than having to exit out to a settings page.
Overall we were extremely pleased with this alphabet app. It’s a fun, unique way for little ones to practice their letter recognition. At $2.99 it is a little bit pricy for an alphabet app, but I think that we will get that much enjoyment and more out of it at our house.
Kelli, Kelli, Kelli, Koala-Elephant-Lion-Lion-Iguana. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.