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App reviews for "The Legend of Momotaro - Version 1.0" [text]


The Legend of Momotaro - Version 1.0 [text]

App description: The Legend of Momotaro is an interactive children's storybook made exclusively for the Apple iPad and iPad mini. The storybook features ten beautifully illustrated scenes with hidden secrets that tell the famous Japanese fairytale of Momotaro. It is a heart-warming story of friendship and cooperation among the most unlikely of characters.

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-legend-of-momotaro/id553938013?mt=8

iDevices used for the reviews: iPad1 - iPad2 - iPad3

Total reviews: 10

Developer: Colin B.

Lizz M.

What I liked What a BEAUTIFUL App! I love the art work and the interactivity on all the pages that were full of fun information on Chinese culture and language. The sound effects made the story come alive and the narrator had just enough of an accent to make the whole book feel like a movie! I also love that the story can be both read aloud to you or you can read it yourself and all of the interactivity is the same. As an adult I enjoyed practicing the Chinese characters and trying out the sounds of the words.

Improvements -- What is that flag that follows Momotoro while on his quest?
-- By disabling the interactivity while the story is being read, this app would better suit early readers who are distracted by these features.
-- If the words could be highlighted while they were being read, the idea that the words on the page and the words being read are the same could be taught - which is an important early literacy skill.
-- Finally, although I LOVE the art, the monsters are silly in comparison to how everything else looks.

General review The art is beautiful, the story is charming, the narrator is easy to listen to, and the interactivity teaches about Chinese culture and the language. Because of the variety of ways to enjoy this story, it is enjoyable again and again. By adding the important literacy features of highlighted words and disabled interactivity, this app would be excellent for any age group and especially wonderful for preschool through early readers.

Erin K.

What I liked We really liked the kanji drawing exercises and looking around for all the different words. My son really responded to the challenge of finding them all on each page without using the clues and liked being able to sound out the words by parts or as a whole. The checkpoints were a nice motivation for him as well as it allowed him to see his progress through the words on the page. I enjoyed the story as it was not one that we were familiar with but it had a really interesting and engaging story.

Improvements I thought that enhancing the Kanji drawing exercises would be a good addition. Perhaps more precise requirements for drawing them would enforce the idea of how to write them more. By the end of the story my son was excited to find them but he was just scribbling his finger over the words to fill them in quickly. Also, the parts with extra information (like the Koi, could really have used some audio like the rest of the story. That would have helped to engage my son who was excited to learn but could not read the information. I also thought that the pacing of the audio was a little slow.

General review Overall, it was a good experience for my son. It was a story from a culture he was unfamiliar with which was a good chance to expose him to new ideas and thoughts. I enjoyed that the audio represented this as well. The interactive elements were well done overall and encouraged exploration with consistant feedback and monitoring of progress. With a few additions and a little more polish this could be a really fantastic audio book.

Bethany P.

What I liked This is an interesting story. I liked the humility of the hero. I liked the themes of working together, praying, overcoming adversities. This has a definite Japanese feel to it with the type of buildings and the narrator voice. My teenaged daughter liked tracing to practice the writing. The directions are clear and well done.

Improvements Sometimes the word ogre was capitalized and sometimes it wasn't. When it is used as a proper noun it should be capitalized like Ogre King, but otherwise it shouldn't. The ogres might look more menacing if they weren't so brightly colored. They are almost cute. Even if they were all the same bright color I think it would improve it.

General review The illustrations are stunning. The pot bubbling, leaves falling,etc. make it more interesting. This has nice vocabulary such as demeanor, vanquished, plundered. The journey seemed to take a while, I started to wonder when the characters would reach the ogres. This is nicely done.

Heather W.

What I liked This is one of the most beautiful and engaging books I have ever seen for the iPad. The graphics are stunning and the story is beautiful. I love how the backgrounds on the pages move at different speeds as the page is scrolled and how the page is animated as the story is read.

Improvements There is nothing about this book that I would want to see changed. All I can say is please, please make more books like this! I love the element of being able to find the "secret" item and learning how to say and write that word in Japanese and sometimes even neat information that I didn't know.

General review As an ESL teacher, I seldom come across an interactive book that I can't wait to share with my students. This is that book! I love how it weaves together an ancient traditional Japanese story with the most modern technology to create a book that everyone can share and enjoy while learning about a different culture. Absolutely gorgeousI I can't wait for the next book in this series (I hope it will become a series!)

Tore Hansen + Turid Anette Fonn (.

What I liked This is a beautiful interactive book app. I really like the scrolling, zoom effects and details views on the "paper scroll". The story unfolds with dynamic animated elements as you read (scroll) through the text, which was nice and really made the story come to life. Also it was great to discover all the clickable details in each scene like the samurai armor that you can paint in custom colors. The addition to paint your own Japanse signs on each detail and hear the word spoken and spelled was just excellent.

Improvements * Would like to see higher resolution on iPad 3. Especially the text and images in the details view.
* More animations and more images in the animations would be great but not a must
* When you click on a detail and the flower appears it is too easy to deselect it. So an increased click area around the flower would be nice.
* The story could have been a little more detailed or longer.

General review Overall this is an amazingly beautiful and educational app. With it's relaxing mood it still offers an exciting story where the interactive elements enhance the excitement. Our kids (ages 3, 6, 9, 11) enjoyed it and were curious to learn about all the Japanese words and speak them. We really liked the app and can recommend everyone to try it.

Kerry E.

What I liked Wow, this app is really neat!  I am a translator by profession, so I really appreciate the language capabilities.  I really like the ability to practice drawing the Kenji symbols, and hear the Japanese words pronounced.  The interactive elements are great for little fingers, and were very much enjoyed.

Improvements On the first page under instructions, there are a couple of typos.  It should be "to get the most OUT of" and then "slide your finger left or right ACROSS the screen." This is only the second screen that I saw, so it was a real turnoff, and I wondered if the rest of the app would be full of mistakes. Luckily, it wasn't!

General review The illustrations in this book are fabulous. It makes the story very realistic and enjoyable.  The children really enjoyed being able to scroll back and forth across the scene, find the hidden illustrations and learn more about the Japanese language and culture.  I will recommend this app to everyone I know with young children!

Emily B.

What I liked This is the most exquisitely crafted app I've ever seen. I zoomed in and out of the illustrations on every segment of the scroll and was delighted with the gorgeous detail. The origami pop-ups were every bit as beautiful as the story itself, and I loved the fact that I could see the hiragana syllables and listen to their pronunciation, as well as trace the Kanji. Brilliant idea, perfectly executed. My favorite detail was the recipe for making Umeboshi, followed closely by being able to change the color scheme on Japanese armor.

Improvements To make this as wonderful as possible for pre-readers, the history & cultural modules should be audible, just as the narration is. I have a four year-old daughter who would have loved to have listened to what all the flowers symbolized, for example. More importantly, this adaptation is extremely long, and for that reason, I would make the investment and pay a native speaker with professional training to do the narration. In the end, that is the only way to get the vocal inflection & nuance necessary to truly engage the listener. The narration was perfectly pronounced, but utterly flat

General review I can't wait to gift this app to a student of Japanese language and culture. It is visually stunning, and for that reason alone I wish I could give it more than five stars. The interactive elements are ingenious and a person could spend hours exploring the entire story. Having said that, this is really an app for an adult, or at least at older child. My four and seven year-old, who love stories of all kinds, didn't quite last until the very end.

Danielle W.

What I liked I like that the app gives tips at the beginning of how to navigate and what to look for. With so many different apps, sometimes its hard to figure out what exactly you need to do to get an app to work and the tips are extremely helpful. The hidden flowers make the story extra fun for children. I also really like the interactive aspects of the app with the images changing as the story is being read. I really liked that you could click on the words and hear the Japanese pronunciations.

Improvements I would suggest making the font a little bigger. When reading the story, my children want to hold the ipad and look for flowers, and I like to actually read it to them (not just listen to it being read) so I would like the font to be larger so it is easier to read.

General review This app is such a great interactive story that is engaging for children. My 4 year old was interested in the hidden flowers, buy my 6 year old was more engaged in wanting to hear and repeat the Japanese words. The details and graphics are amazing! I really like that my son can hold it and listen to the story on his own, or we can do it together and I can read it to him.

Michelle W.

What I liked I thought the tips were very helpful and detailed. I had fun tapping different items and learning what they were called in Japanese and tracing the Kanji. The narrator had a nice clear voice. It was nice to learn historical facts about the different items in the story.

Improvements I noticed that some of the Kanji did not light up and it made a clanking sound almost like it was locked. I like that there is a read to me option but I think the word should light up as it is read so a new reader can follow along. Also as the story went along I had to flip to the next page even though it was reading to me.

General review I really liked story and especially liked that I learned some Japanese words as I read the story. I liked the learning the history and meaning of the different fruit, flowers, etc. in the Japanese culture. Well thought out, detailed app, clear narrator and outstanding graphics.

Kathryn C.

What I liked I loved the graphics and the 3D images in the story! The little touches like the fire under the pot and the pot bubbling were great. I loved the transitioning between the pages as well. I didn't have any trouble distinguishing the end of each page. The scrolling of the words was actually fun! I liked the flowers that came out and the words being described on the papers. It did get a little repititious, though. I love anything multicultural and this was a wonderful rendition of a classic story!

Improvements I would love to see the "Read it to Me" function more clearly labeled in English. I teach Kindergarten and have students that would love a story like this, but are unable to read it. You may want to change how the words appear to keep things fresh. For example, the papers unfolding are good, but maybe try a flower unfolding or a pot opening for the pot picture. Have other things open than just the papers each time. At the end of the story there needs to be a back button to return you to the beginning of the story. I wanted to review things and found it a pain to scroll all the way back.

General review I really liked this app! I think it is visually appealing and the introduction to Japanese is great! I didn't realize there was a read it function until I went back. There needs to be clearer instructions, perhaps have them read outloud as well. I didn't see if that could be done. I wasn't sure if I would share this with my students, but after finding the story does read itself, I will. I show my apps on my ipad and this will be great!