Bottom Line: I Imagine is an interactive book that almost every parent and child can identify with. In the story the parent is busy and the child is bored beyond belief. Not only can children relate to this story, but they can be a part of it by adding their faces and names into the app.
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Every parent can relate to having a child underfoot and complaining of boredom while they try to get a few things done around the house. In I Imagine by Bizzibrains, users become part of the story about a child and parent trying so hard to find a happy balance. Not only is it an enjoyable story, but children will also have fun becoming a part of the story and will be entertained with different interactions.
While children listen to the narration, the word being read is highlighted on the screen. This is helpful to train children to associate spoken and written words. Plus, anytime the personalized character is referred to the written name is inserted into the page and the user's audio recording of the character's name is integrated into the narration.
There is a little break in the cadence of the audio narration when the personal recording is played. My Texas twang stands out a little bit from the narrator's high quality recording. I found it flows best if you record the names quickly and with a “happy” voice. My son on the other hand enjoyed recording his name as he spoke like a robot and then laughing his head off every time he heard it in the story.
Not only can the look of characters be personalized with a picture, but they can also be further customized and dressed in different outfits. Each character has choices for gender, skin color, outfits, hair color and style. My daughter said it is like playing with paper dolls that have her face.
Children create the faces for the parent and child by either taking a default cartoon face, selecting from the photo gallery on their device or taking a new picture with the camera. Photos can be rotated and resized to fit into the character cut-out. However, once the photo is selected and inserted into the character, the picture can no longer be manipulated. If they want to change the way the photo looks at all, they must create a new snapshot. The five most recent faces created float around the avatar in the face customization screen in case the user wants to use them again.
Though it is lots of fun to add a picture, characters do not need to be personalized with a picture. There is a generic cartoon face option. So if, for example, a teacher is showing this to a group of children then the child’s face can just be a cartoon character instead of having to pick one child to showcase.
While reading the story children can play and interact with various pieces of the scene. They can give the mom more dirty dishes and laundry as well as dance around or jump on the bed. Children can skip past these interactions, or stay on the page and play as long as they like. There is no time limit and the children decide when to flip to the next page.
The parent section allows for the read to me option to be disabled as well as the music. However, when the narration is turned off, the words are still highlighted at the speed the narration would be read by the narrator. Also, the recorded names are still read aloud. This could be distracting to beginner readers trying to work their way through the story themselves. Currently, the option to play the audio through headphones is not working properly. The developers are aware and working to fix this.
I Imagine takes a unique spin on ebooks by allowing users become part of the story. This app not only entertains children who may be bored, but also helps show them how to use their own imaginations to have fun. This app truly goes above and beyond what is expected from a free app. Talk about a win-win.
Rachel H called and apologized to her mother for all the times she complained of boredom as a child. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.