Bottom Line: Rom and the Whale of Dreams tells the story of a gypsy prince who dreams of a magic whale. The story is told in one language (English, Spanish, or Chinese), with translation to an additional language being provided in text along the bottom.
If you would like to purchase Rom and the Whale of Dreams (iPad only, $2.99), please use the handy link provided:
Rom and the Whale of Dreams is an eBook from developer BelMontis Publishers. It tells the story of a gypsy prince named Rom who dreams nightly of a flying whale. Nobody in Rom’s kingdom had dreamed for centuries and surely this was a magical thing. Rom borrowed his father’s horse, Invisible, to travel to far off kingdoms to search for the whale. Rom was not successful in his search and returned home to his parents determined not to mention the whale again.
But the next day a king from another land arrived with a tale about the magical creature that protected his land having vanished taking along with it the dreams of his people. The magical creature he spoke of was Rom’s whale. Rom agreed to return with the king to see if he could give the dream whale back to the people of his kingdom. They didn’t know how to return the whale to the dreams of others, though… until Rom sneezed and the whale was freed. To thank Rom, the enchanted whale graces both kingdoms with dreams.
This eBook has interesting illustrations that are simultaneously quaint and modern and have a multi-media feel to them. Most pages have some interactive component to entertain kids. Unfortunately some of the other elements covered up parts of the artwork.
While having the translation to another language at the bottom is a very nice feature, I really feel like it could be done differently to be more effective. The text is particularly small, making it difficult to read, and the gray text box covers up some of parts of the artwork. Also, there is no option to hear the audio of the second language. The narration is pleasant to listen to, but could maybe use some sound effects to spice things up a little to keep it from drifting into boring.
There are also pages where features such as the arrows used to turn the pages block elements of the artwork, too. The artwork in this storybook is one of the stronger features and it is unfortunate that there are components that detract from complete enjoyment of it.
This app has great potential as a tool to help in learning another language, though it would have greater effectiveness with the addition of audio translations rather than just the (very small) text provided. Also missing is the ability to click on any of the main text to hear any word repeated, which would make the book frustrating for new readers.
With some changes and strengthening of the elements of this app, it could increase its star rating up to a solid four. It is lovely and pleasant. But currently the weaknesses keep me from rating it any higher.
Kelli has dreamed of horses, pigs and wombats, but never whales. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.