Bottom line: Friendship, sparkling hooves, a Viking helmet and gobs of information about popular horse breeds will make any little reading filly (or colt) happy while playing this app.
If you would like to download Chancey of the Maury River (iPad only, 99 cents), please use this handy link so they'll know who sent you:
External links to iBooks and guided access to breed pages, all hidden behind a fairly child-proof wall. This app is a companion to the first book in the Horses of Maury River series, which is not included here, but there is enough information provided in-app to get a full experience.
Chancey of the Maury River is a companion app to the first book in a series, Horses of Maury River. Although I am sure fans of the first book will get a little more out of it than the average user (Claire's Diary, for instance, may appeal more to those who read the first book), this app stands alone and has been made to accommodate all little girls' love of horses. The app has three sections: Chancey’s Barn (dress Claire and Chancey the Appaloosa while hunting for blue ribbons that will turn Chancey's hooves into glittering goodness), the Breeds (learn about six breeds) and Claire's Diary, (65 pages of Claire talking about horses, divorce, stuttering and love. Mostly horses).
Chancey’s Barn has easy-to-follow directions and tons of dress-up opportunities from saddle blankets, bits and headwear to the usual fun suspects for girly dress-up like traditional riding gear and tutus. Claire even has a Viking helmet in her closet. Collectively, there are ten sections of closet to peruse for just the right look. An additional feature in this section is looking for blue ribbons. Finding four will turn Chancey’s hooves glittery, but it takes a bit of poking around as there are no hints to finding the little gems. The only background music in the app is located in Claire’s radio, which can be turned on and off with a touch. After everyone is spiffed up, users can add captions for Claire and Chancey, then select a background and save to your device or share via email.
The Breeds section is eight pages about horses in general and six popular breeds in particular. The breeds included are Appaloosa, Belgian Draft, Welsh, Thoroughbred, Hanoverian and Shetland pony. Each page is also linked to informational websites. Here is good place to mention that I tried all of my tried and true kiddo escape pods (i.e., I tinkered trying to get past the guided access) in the links and found them difficult, if not impossible, to skirt, so bravo to the developer for creating a good buffer between the app and the big scary internet. There are no bells and whistles in this section of the app and it works well with the design and compliments the written series.
In addition to playing dress-up and learning about breeds, your little horse lover can sneak a peek at Claire’s Diary. Once again, this section is all about reading. Sixty-five pages of Claire’s love of horses, as well as her feelings on a variety of topics. It’s written from young Claire’s perspective and explores some interesting topics such as responsibility, fear (enter the stuttering) and building relationships.
The layout is simple and easy to navigate. I was impressed by how the app offered little in interactivity (except for dress-up), but managed to pull off a feeling of time well spent. This is a cute app for young girls that just can’t get enough when it comes to dress-up and horses. I enjoyed playing too.
Cynthia has always known there is a cowgirl inside her dying to get out. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.