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App reviews for "Sparky's Birthday Surprise" [text]


Sparky's Birthday Surprise [text]

App description: Description It’s Sparky® the Fire Dog’s birthday, and his doggie friends are throwing a surprise party. In this fun and original tap-and-play storybook app, kids will learn important fire safety skills while joining the excitement of preparing for a surprise birthday party.

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sparkys-birthday-surprise/id688456828?mt=8

iDevices used for the reviews: iPad2 - iPad3 - iPhone4 - iPhone4S - iPod4G - iPhone5

Total reviews: 10

Developer: Carmen H.

Amanda A.

What I liked I liked various aspects of this app. First of all I enjoyed the stars that prompted the child on what part of the picture to touch to see the animated characters. Also, I enjoyed the video as well as the math addition practice in addition to the reading.

Improvements If I could see improvements in the future version, I would like to see maybe all the same great features but in spanish for bilingual students to also interact with the app. Also on the coloring pages feature, having more of a range of colors to select would be great as well.

General review Overall, I believe this app is fantastic. From the read to me, read and play features, videos, games, and coloring pages, this app offers children with a great theme for the month of October of fire safety to help teach kids about fire saftey prevention. My students are going to love this app.

Frances A.

What I liked What I loved about Sparky's Birthday Surprise is that it was an nice way to introduce and teach children about fire safety. I liked that his friends at the firehouse were throwing him a birthday party and it is nice to see the steps it takes to have a party and bake a cake. This app is wonderfully interactive and very child friendly. Besides being a book it also has wonderful activities to go with it such as coloring pages and a music video. It also allows the child to have three options of reading, read to me; read and play and just a book. It lets the children use the app at their own pace.

Improvements My wish list for the app:
- The app speaks about Sparky going to the school to teach fire safety. If there could be a mini book or a video about fire safety tips and stop, drop and roll it would make this app a perfect teaching tool for fire prevention week.

General review I thought Sparky's Birthday Surprise contained nice visual graphics. As a free app it also provides an amazing tool to parents and educators. I also loved inside the story that it was interactive and gave children hints of where to touch in order to play and to see the various pages actions and features. Overall, I think this is a great app to use with children.

Stan A.

What I liked This is a really good interactive story that teaches about fire safety. It is nice to have a full featured educational Cupcake Digital app that is free. There are plenty of hidden objects to play with and find during the story. The games are both fun and educational in teaching about shapes and early math, I especially liked the Sparky Addition game.

Improvements I was a little confused at first on the page where the window is pushed and the scene actually goes outside. That would probably be better either at a door or with a scene that is obviously just looking out the window. It would be nice to see more videos since it looks a little bit empty in that tab. I did experience an excessive lag in the coloring book sometimes when I tried to exit to the main menu.

General review This app is a great value since it is free but it is still as functional and feature rich as many good paid apps. It is also a perfect introduction to Cupcake Digital. The focus on fire safety is definitely important to me as a parent of a small child. Having fun but educational games and a full featured coloring book is icing on the cake.

Jonathan R.

What I liked This is a fantastic fire safety teaching tool. It is fun, educational, and does not scare children when talking about fire safety. It is great for boys and girls so all children can learn. It teaches the importance of getting outside when you hear a smoke alarm and having a meeting place among other great lessons.

Improvements I cannot really think of many criticisms of this application. I would possibly suggest more mini-games because the ones they have are so great already. This developer should keep coming out with more applications because I would definitely recommend this application to everyone I know with children.

General review This is a fantastic fire safety teaching tool. It is fun, educational, and does not scare children when talking about fire safety. It is great for boys and girls so all children can learn. I would definitely recommend this application to everyone I know with children.

Lynn G.

What I liked It is hard to find something not to like about this app. I love the way the developer embedded fire safety tips into the story. As with other Cupcake Digital apps, there is plenty of interactivity that endears the app to young players. The coloring activities keep players coming back for more.

Improvements It is difficult to find anything to improve upon as is the case with other Cupcake Digital apps. The story may have been a bit on the long side, but was engaging throughout. There is plenty of interactivity throughout the story that include hints. Keep up the good work!

General review This is a wonderful, interactive app for young children that does a great job instructing the player about fire safety. The tips from Sparky have been heard before, but the presentation keeps it fresh and rewarding for the player to continue through the story.

Raphael S.

What I liked It's a fun game with a great educational value, the fire safety skills will definitely be handy later on in life. I liked the coloring pages and the sing-along music video the most. I thought the graphics looked really nice and the animations are designed well. The name of the main character is very appropriate and charming. I also thought the story was adequately written.

Improvements On the iPad the app worked perfectly, but not so much on the iPod touch. The app constantly froze for a few seconds at a time. I do have the latest iOS so I don't think it's a compatibility issue. I'd like to see that fixed because I don't always have my iPad available. Apart from that everything else was pretty much satisfactory.

General review It's a very stimulating and informative app for children. The safety skills included will greatly benefit them as they grow older. The story is detailed and well written, it also has a delightful character. The graphics and animations are beautifully designed. There's plenty of fun features too. It would be nice to see an update for the newest iOS.

melissa r.

What I liked Awesome interactive app that is gender neutral. Various levels within the app allows pre-readers to engage independently with app as well as beginning and proficient readers.
Great sparkling effect used to guide children where to tap to discover more interactive surprises.
Love that app starts off on page child was last at, prevents tears when app accidentally closed or when parents impose device time restrictions,

Improvements Would like to see in the addition game the corresponding number of dots under each number to assist youngster who are learning addition.
Issue on second page particularly, where the speech bubble was up yet sparkles guided you to touch elsewhere. Child got frustrated as they weren't sure where to touch and didn't realise they needed speech bubble to finish due to the sparkles guiding them in a different direction.
Would also like ability to contact developer if there is an issue or need for improvement.

General review Fantastic app that is enjoyable, interactive and educational. Appeals to a large age group and both genders.
Fantastic variety of extras such as music, games and painting. Really appreciate that the developers other apps are hidden from children yet adults can view.
Great topic to be covering for children and appreciate that it educates them in a fun, non scary and engaging manner.
App too good to be free to be honest!

Eileen L.

What I liked Things I liked about Sparky:
1. There were 3 different levels to choose from, so it targeted multiple age groups
2. It was very interactive for quizzical minds
3. It had an informative music video
4. The menu was easy to navigate
5. There were many other options for painting and games
6. There was a control option for music, sound and voice

Improvements Things I wanted improved in the next version:
To be honest, I did not see anything major that needed improvement at this time. The app ran smooth with no glitches, and I was able to access every component of the game/story. I think this developer has given the consumer a lot of app for the free price tag.

General review Sparky's Birthday Surprise was a charming storybook that took you through fire safety with Sparky the fire dog. Using the birthday story line as a backdrop for the fire safety lesson, it kept the reader entertained. There is many reader levels, so it will appeal to a wide age range and the interactions were fun. There are bonus features of painting and games and you can navigate the volume, music and sound on the app. Very good buy.

Courtney D.

What I liked This was a very fun and engaging app. I loved that the vocabulary was put into action on various pages throughout the book. I also enjoyed being able to interact with the story along the way. I appreciate the questions at the end of the story, as well as the common core standards that are incorporated throughout and highlighted for the educators use. I think it is great that there is an option for espanol.

Improvements Please know that these are suggestions and only being discussed for consideration.
Page 1: "Sparky, the Fire Dog, worked" - Does fire need to be capitalized?
Page 2: past tense vs present tense
Pg 3: go vs. leave
Pg 4: Quotations - "Wait, I"
Pg 5: firetruck is one word
Pg 8: Safety checklist. Did they obey because they wanted to listen to the safety checklist?
Pg 10: No comma before preheat. I would suggest "The recipe says to preheat.."
Also, I would suggest that you maintain similar vocabulary targets - fire engine vs firetruck.

General review I loved this story and the concept of the story. It contains great graphics and great interactive pieces throughout. The narration is excellent and easy to follow. I believe this app can only be improved by a few suggestions regarding grammar. Beyond that, it is certainly recommended and could be used in homes and schools everywhere!

Sherri B.

What I liked I enjoyed all the activities of Sparky's Birthday Surprise, The Read and Play was our favorite because of all the great interactions and sounds. There are 3 modes in the child can read the story, 1. Read to me. 2. Read and Play. 3. Just a Book. There are also several bonus material that can be used. The games were a nice addition to the app and adds some great learning games. Paint is great for imagination and fine motor while learning about fire safety. The video was to slow for our taste and there is also a pages tab where you can go directly to a certain page. The cake decorating was a fav!

Improvements I would like to see the sound effects and the voices of the characters a little louder in certain places in the app, some sound effects like the fire bell and smoke alarm seem fine while other's like the fire dog and other characters were almost to low to understand and I had the volume in options turned up the whole way. On page 4 I noticed when you're cracking eggs into the bowl, the third egg always cracks above the carton, not a big deal, could be meant to do that?

General review Overall, this is a wonderful app to teach children about fire safety that will keep them entertained and engaged and having a ton of fun! I even enjoyed touching everything just to see what they did. The Thinking corner at the end is great to reinforce what was just learned in the app. I love the Common Core Corner that tells a parent how the app will help the child educationally.