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  Lvl 5 - Mogul

Shannon W.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Entertainment - Games - Lifestyle - Photography - Productivity - Utilities - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2- iPad3- iPhone5

Description: I'm a Mom to a wonderful little girl. I download apps weekly to keep my 6 year old learning. My daughter is an early learner and is reading at an a 4th grade level already. I am also a speech language pathologist and OT working with children that need intensive therapy. I've seen many apps help with many speech disorders!

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages 0-2 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Special education teacher or AT (Assistive Tech.) specialist - Homeschooler - SLP - OT - Gamer

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-10-13

User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.

Total review Karma: + 12     ?

Each time a developer thinks a review from a reviewer is useful, he give to this reviewer +1 in review Karma. The more Karma a reviewer has, the better her/his reviews are assessed!


Her/His app reviews

The Ant and the Grasshopper v1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The 3D pages that had the interaction on it was very creative and well thought out.
I felt like I was playing with a real 3D book and not a virtual one. My almost 2 year old daughter
loved interacting with the characters! The seek and find objects were great to interact with
when you feed the grasshopper or help the ant gather items.
Improvements Would LOVE to see the words highlighted or underlined on the pages
as the story is read. It was hard for my daughter to follow along on the pages
that didn't have interaction and there were a lot of words. I had to run my finger
along the sentences so my daughter could follow the text.
General review I really love this 3D story book. The story is fantastic and the creativity is amazing. This story
has held the attention of my 2 year old every time! She loves interacting with the characters on
the 3D pages. Hopefully the developer will add highlighting of words to the pages
that are not 3D. I would then give this app a 5 star rating!

The Whole Truth about Santa Claus [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love this alternative story on Santa Claus. The illustrations are whimsical and cute. I loved the moral lesson in this story and it is one that every older child should know at this time of year. The fact that Christmas can only happen when you put giving first as opposed to receiving and that with teamwork a lot can be accomplished. The music and sounds were delightful throughout the book and I actually found myself turning up the volume to listen to it over and over again!
Improvements I'd love to see this app done in other languages. My 14 year old nephew is learning French at the moment so he enjoyed reading the French read along in this book. It helped him with pronunciation and comprehension. Perhaps if this app also had the option to keep the "read to me" option ON throughout the whole story instead of turning it in with each page. That became a little tiresome to have to click the button on the bottom of the screen for each page.
General review This story REALLY hit home for my 14 year old nephew and myself. We are in the Hurricaine Sandy devastated area and are beginning to see the many local Santa Clauses in town. Many of our friends have lost their homes and it's great to see local people like "Fred"in the book helping to make Christmas for so many young kids this year. This story teaches so many moral lessons that I will be sharing this app with other parents that I know!

Simplex Spelling Phonics - Advanced Phonograms [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I think this is on eof the better advanced spelling apps available. I like how this app has 52 different phonetic groups and that the user can choose which level they want to master. Other comparable spelling apps only focus on either a single letter phonic or very few double letter phonics without makinging an upgrade with an in app purchase. Kudos to the developer for having ALL the phonics in one app!
Improvements I would rate this app 5 starts if it had sentences shown while leaving the "phonetic" word blank. This would immerse the user better as they would be able to follow along with the narrator as she speaks the sentence and is being asked to spell the phonetic word.
Also it would be great if the app showed a picture of whatever word that was being asked to spell. For instance the word "chasm" should have a picture with the word so children can visually see what the word is
General review I really do believe this is one of the better advanced spelling apps available. This app would help older children in the 9-11 year old age category to improve their spelling abilities and reading comprehension. I would not recommend this app to younger readers and spellers as the words are far too advanced for their reading level and vocabulary.

Baby Learns Simple Objects 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love the illustrations and how most the of objects interact when you click on them. I also love how there are 4 different and varying areas to learn objects. My 2 year olds loves the animal level. She has learned the animal sounds from this app. She loves how the goslings move around the lake and interact with her!
Improvements I would give this app 5 stars if it had tho option to show the word when you click on the object. My 2 year old daughter is an early learner and is reading simple story books. She loves reading words. I think this app would have held her attention more if the word popped onto the page when she clicked o object!
General review This is a fun and educational app for toddlers. The illustrations and interaction with the objects have made learning fun for my daughter. The sounds are easy on the ears so I don't mind hearing her interact with this app for longer periods. The learning section of this app is a fun quiz type game that daughter didn't mind playing. A lot of quiz type apps for her age group she gets bored with as they are too easy for her.

iTooch Middle School [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love how this app has different educational categories to quiz on. The user doesn't have to pay extra to get the different educational categories! I also love how you can practice the questions first then take the actual quiz. Also, I love how the app is easy to use and learn.
My nephew in 7th grade loved this app and actually found it interesting to read an excerpt from one of Obama's speeches!
Improvements Perhaps a fun mini game after a quiz is finished giving the actual user a sense of accomplishment. Also I think the app should be more colorful. The blackboard background
gets boring after awhile. Also, I wish there was a way to see what questions were wrong in the
practice session so the parent or teacher can see what exactly the child needs work on instead of
a generalized academic area.
General review This is a great educational app for kids in 7th and 8th grade. I think any younger the content may be too overwhelming. If its a little more colorful perhaps it will retain much more
users and they would use it longer. My nephew got bored with the plain grey chalkboard background.

Baby Phone [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a really fun app! I like how it plays the different nursery rhyme songs. I also like how the numbers are super big and colorful for the kids to use. The large numbers are helping my 2 year old daughter with her counting and number cognition.
Improvements I would like to see the checkered background change in the next update. It hurts my eyes looking at that checkered background behind the numbers and behind the illustration when the nursery rhymes play. Maybe a solid color background would work better? Also, the illustrations that are shown when the nursery rhyme plays is lo resolution. Would love to see those illustrations in hi-resolution in the next update since they are really cute!
General review This is a fantastic app for babies under 12 months. I would give this app 5 stars if they change the checked background and update the illustrations to hi-resolution. Also, this app would be very educational if it said the name of the number when the child touches the number! Overall, this is a fun app to entertain babies for a few minutes.

Meet the Insects: Village Edition (1.0.0) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love the different photos and videos in this app of all the different insects. It's amazing how gorgeous some of these insects actually are when you view them up close in these photos. I also love how the user can interact with each different insect along with all the educational info about each insect!
Improvements The arrow on the bottom of the screen to bring up the sub menu was a little difficult to use. Most of the time I would swipe up on the arrow or click on it, the app would not bring me to the sub menu, I'd end up on a page about insects. Perhaps have a different way to access those sub menus or an easier way to get to the home screen.
General review I felt like I was out in nature using a real field guide to explore insects. This app is one of the best designed apps I have seen. It works smoothly except for the arrow on the bottom of the screen. I love the animated cartoon bugs under the insect story! The best part about this app is the Observation journal! I love how I can add my own photos of insects along with personal notes and discoveries. It's like having your own insect scrapbook!

Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked My daughter is a huge Wubbzy fan! She loved this app.
I loved that even though it was a Nickelodeon character from tv,
the app had a lot of learning aspect to it! I loved the counting meatballs
game and loved the ABC game that was included! Also I loved
the fun and colorful illustrations and the fun animated storyline!
Improvements I'd love to see the words highligted as the story is read to the user!
My daughter is an early learner and can already read sentences. However,
most early readers need some sort of way to follow the text as it
is read to them. Perhaps have the words highlight red on their own as the sentence is
is read by the recorded voice instead of waiting for the user to touch the word. Or maybe have
the words animate bigger as the sentence is read so the. Hold can read along easier!
General review My husband is a firefighter and loves doing this app with my daughter!
In fact he brought the iPad to the firehouse to show the other guys
this cute app! He loves how the fire truck plays the siren sound as you touch
the light. He said a lot of kids are afraid of that sound so this was a good way to teach
them. He also likes reading the Smokey Fire tips to my daughter at the end of he book.

Hushabye version 1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I LOVE this app! The graphics are gorgeous! I love the little explanation they gave under the photographs (information overlay) that explains where the sound came from! I love the different water sounds it makes and I love how you can lower the water sound and change it to a heartbeat!
I especially love this app because it helped my daughter finally sleep through the night!!!!
Improvements Would love to see other noises incorporated in the app. Perhaps a white noise, airplane noise or a clock ticking? Also, would love to see more photographs as well. The photographs remind me of those inspiration type posters you see in offices. Would be great if the app had a screensaver option where the photos continuously changed! Maybe show more photos of where the water sound is coming from!
General review Did I say I LOVE this app! It got my daughter to sleep through the night! I love that I can keep the noise playing while I work on other apps on my iPad! This is definitely one of the best white noise apps available! The user gets a very true high definition sound of running water along with hi-resolution photographs. With the customizable settings this app truly is the best sleep aid around! The developer did a great job with this one!

CoverMe - Private Texting & Secure Phone Calls with Password Locked Safe Vault to Protect Secret Contacts, Text Messages, Personal Photos & Videos - V1.0.2 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a great app to keep your texts, phone calls and contacts private. It serves its purpose with a bit of social networking to form private "circles". What I liked best about this app was that it securely and privately holds photos that are of great importance that I don't want to accidentally delete! I had a few screen captures that I didn't want in my iphone photos folder and wanted them private. I'm able to securely hide them in this app!
Improvements I wish there was a way to see who is using this app without having to "invite" them with a spammed email or text message! Perhaps logging into Facebook I can see which friends are using this app. I would definatly rate this 5 stars if it has this feature!
General review This app does exactly what it's supposed to do!!! I forgot my password and there was no way I was able to get into this app until I found the paper I wrote the password on! I just wish I knew what friends of mine were using this app! I felt awkward sending them a text and email requesting them to download the app. I really love the feature that safely and securely hides your photos!

Matryoshka! deluxe [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The illustrations and the music are fantastic. The game is easy to learn and use. I love the Matryoshka doll that has the soccer theme and numbers on the dolls. This reinforces counting concepts from 1 to 11. I also love the "challenge" mode. Not only does it teach a child patience but also size sequencing. A perfect skill for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners to learn. Also, I love how this app teaches fine motor skills! Not many apps can do that!
Improvements Would love to see the alphabet incorporated into the dolls somehow. Like the soccer themed dolls that are wearing numbers perhaps have the dolls wearing letters! This would reinforce letter skills and teach the 26 letters of the alphabet forward and backwards! Also, when you touch the numbered dolls perhaps have a sound that says the number you are touching!
General review My daughter loves playing with real her Matryoshka doll! Now she has virtual dolls to keep her entertained for hours! I would rate this app 5 stars if it had the alphabet somehow incorporated. My daughter has developed better size sequencing skills because of this app. Also, I love this virtual app because there is no risk of her choking on the teeny tiny baby doll that she has with her "real Matryoshka doll"! It's virtual so no choking on parts!

Simply Missy:Shopping Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is definitely one of the cutest games I have ever encountered for the iPad. I love that the game takes place with a little girl inside a little wind up box. The graphics are fun and colorful. The music is age appropriate. I also love how the purple gems are so realistic looking.
Improvements Although this is one of the cutest apps available, I felt that some of the mini games were a little difficult to figure out at first. Once I played the game through its entirety it was easy to catch on. I would like to see a tab or icon that I can click for help or instructions on each mini game. If the developers are trying to keep the same look and feel throughout the game and not put text, then maybe have illustrated instructions so the non-readers understand what is going on.
General review I really like this app. Is cute and fun. I think 4+ age group may be a little old for this app. I'm thinking maybe 3-4 years old at the most. My niece is 5 and she was bored with the game.
Although my concern is that my niece had a hard time figuring out some of the mini games. Once she played with it for a bit she figured it out and had fun bouncing the ball around the screen to collect gems.

Animal Planet Hide & Seek Pets [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a fun app that has a little bit of everything in it. I love the section where the child can trace the letters and learn letter recognition that corresponds to the specific animal.
Also, the fun, interacting facts about the animals is a great way to learn about animal behaviors and feeding facts.
Improvements Would love to have more interaction with the animals. My daughter kept trying to feed the animals in their habitat and was getting frustrated when she couldn't feed them. I guess they looked so real to her she couldn't understand why a box of facts would appear on screen instead of an actual animal action.
General review This is a fun learning app that has plenty of mini games. I do not think the price of $3.99 on the App Store makes this app worthwhile though. If the developer continues to add updates with more fun games and animal interaction I can justify the price. But like many Animal Planet apps and products your paying a premium price for the name "Animal Planet". Hopefully there will be more updates!

The Miracles of Jesus [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is an amazing app for children of all ages. It's educational and has fun activities to keep children entertained with the app. I liked that the words were highlighted as the story was read out loud. The narration was very clear and easymon the ears! This helps early readers to understand what they ae reading! It kept my daughter entertained throughout the whole story. Also love how well the painting activity works!
Improvements Would love to see the illustrated pictures come to life. Perhaps having them as animated cartoons on the pages instead of just cycling through the illustrations. Other then that it's a great app and can't ask for many other changes. Perhaps have the option to add another story to the app with an upgrade.
General review I really like this app. The developer did an amazing job with this app and I didn't find any problems or bugs with it. I like the fact that there are so many different activities to entertain children of all ages! Not a lot of apps do that these days! Also the story is very entertaining and the narrator doesn't have an annoying voice! Bonus rating for that!

Live Puzzle! Forest Animals [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked My daughter loves this app! The animations are fantastic, the sound effects are great and I love how they put the name of the forest animal under the puzzle after its done! My daughter has learned so many animals since playing with this app. Also, the illustrations are adorable and really show the animals behavior in the forest!
Improvements Would love to see maybe more interaction with the animals after the puzzle is finished. The little animations are cute and my daughter likes them but maybe if you can feed the animals or play with them better after the puzzle is done. It would make for a better reward and increase motivation to finish the puzzle. Also, maybe have a little story or some sentences explaining more about the individual forest animals after the puzzle is finished! And perhaps have a feature where the user can play with virtual stickers of the animals that they earned after finishing the puzzle! Kids love stickers!
General review Like I said before I love this app. The puzzles are fantastic and I love how you can change the different languages so that the user can learn the forest animal names in a different language! My daughter is actually learning the names in Japanese now and that is fantastic! I recommend this app to every Mom I know that has an iPad! The developer did an awesome job with this app!

Jack and the Beanstalk a Mathematical Adventure - HD V1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love how this app covers all the basic math concepts that the younger grades are taught. From counting, to time management and basic shapes and measurement this is one app that entertains children as they learn. It's great to see the math problems incorporated into the fun story. I love that it not just a counting app. It also includes time telling, money and measurement. Something very few apps have these days combined into one.
Improvements It would be great if the illustrations were animated. My daughter and 6 year old niece kept touching the pictures in the story to see if something would "move". Maybe if something was interactive in the story pages. Also, I wish the words were highlighted as they are read to the child. It's easier for beginning readers to follow along that way.
General review Over all I would give this app 4 stars. I love that it does cover all the basic math concepts in an entertaining story!! However, I really think the children would be more engaged if something was animated on the pages. I love that the story is easy to scroll through by hitting the down arrow. Fast readers can scroll through the story much quicker. The basic math problems are challenging enough to keep the reader engaged!

Talking ABC... Version: 1.4 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is an amazing app for preschoolers to learn basic ABC's. The app is colorful and looks AMAZING on the iPad with retina display! I love how the animals repeat what is said when the child speaks to it with comical expression. My daughter was mesmerized with the claymation characters as most apps don't use this type of animation!
Improvements It would be great of there was an option to change the letters from uppercase to lowercase! As a child is learning letters and beginning to read words it's better for them to use lowercase as more then 90% of words and sentences are lowercase. Other then that its a perfect app!
General review I am defiantly going to recommend this app to my friends with preschool children. It's engaging, entertaning and a piece of art. I commend the designers for creating an app with claymation characters since this isn't used in many apps. Children find it entertaining while they learn and parents love the comical expressions on the animals. This is a 5 star app!

Monsieur Bear's ABC [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a fun, educational and artistic app. I love that it is extremely easy to use for even the youngest iPad users! It is colorful and well thought out. I had very young toddlers around 1 year old test this app and they were able to maneuver their way around the app with ease.
My 4 year old was able to read all the words in the app easily, I love how it has different languages as well. My daughter is learning Spanish now so this was a fantastic tool to help!
Improvements I'd love to see a way to change the fonts. It's great that the words are written in different fonts on the alphabet page. But when Monsieur Bear speaks the sentence the font is in script. This is very hard for early readers to understand. I wish I could change that somehow. Also when Monsieur Bear speaks the sentence it would be great if the words were highlighted while he speaks so early readers could follow along better.
General review It's a fun alphabet app for early readers to use! The app did crash a couple times while launching. I had to do a hard restart and it seemed to work fine after that.
If I had the option to change the fonts in the sentence I would rate this app 5 stars.. But since that isn't available yet I would rate it 4 stars.
Is a well throughout artistically made app that entertains young children from ages 1-5. The developer did a great job designing it!

The Reading Train: A Common Core Early Literacy Tutor Version 1.0.3 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love the variety of stories this app has! I love that the app has different reading levels so that beginner readers can advance through the app as the reading skills progress. The illustrations are fantastic and the stories are very age appropriate.
Improvements I'd love to see the words highlighted as the narrator reads each word in the story. It is so important for beginner readers to be able to follow along with the story and highlighting the words as its spoken out loud makes it easier and more eye catching for the child.
Also, the games were confusing at times. My daughter had a hard time in the beginning trying to figure out what to do with the games. Maybe have a help section that shows what to so with the games?
General review I really love the reading section of this app. My daughter was able to read through all 3 levels with ease and thoroughly enjoyed all the stories. This is actually her favorite app at the moment. Every time I observe she is using this app. The developer did an amazing job combining the train theme into a reading app that easily attracts early readers!

PlayCorner TV v1.4 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like that this is a child safe video app. I feel much more comfortable allowing my daughter to use this app instead of YouTube or Vimeo. The content is easily accessible and works flawlessly! Very easy to learn. It's also very colorful and eye catching. Also love the holiday category. Teaching my daughter now about St. Patrick's day so this was a great category to have!
Improvements I don't like the fact that it has a mainstream cartoon character category. I'd really like the option to block the whole category instead of each individual video. That is VERY time consuming, I'd like to be able to block off most of the character cartoons by clicking the character icon and clicking block. Hopefully in an update that will be available. Some of the characters I approve my daughter to watch but some of them she isn't allowed to watch!
General review Great app for parents to have when they need something quickly and briefly to entertain a child. Great for restaurants or waiting in the line at the bank. I would give this app 5 stars if I had a chance to block entire character video categories instead of manually with each video. Also perhaps having a timer on there. Have the apps hut down after 10 min of video watching, etc.

Kilubu : Magic Potions 1.0.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I think the illustrations are fantastic and the entire chemistry/alchemist theme is fantastic for early scientists. I like that its a fun entertaining game and I also like that the potions get harder as you progress throughout the game. The sounds are fun and Sacha's expressions are priceless when tasting the potion! It's a great app for children ages 5-8.
Improvements I don't like that there was absolutely no instructions to the game. Unless I couldn't find them?!?
It took me a good 5-10 minutes to figure out what to do. My app crashed the first time I launched it so perhaps there were instructions I just missed them? I'm pretty good figuring out apps but this one was a lil confusing at first. Imagine how kids would feel. I also don't like that Sacha in the app is portrayed as "geeky". Why not have the option to choose your character. A boy or girl and perhaps different personalities with each character instead of the one Sacha.
General review I give this app 4 starts. If it had actual instructions on what to do with the app or a help section I'd probably give it 5 stars. It is a well thought out fun early chemistry game to enrich early scientists! However without the instructions or options to choose your character I wouldn't be able to give the app 5 starts.

Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity (v1.0.1) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love this app! What a great educational app to teach school aged children about magnetism and electricity! I love the instructional video experiments! Great ideas to use the fun educational experiments in the classroom. Also the learning section is very entertaining and the cartoons make learning about the complex theories of electricity and magnetism easy!
Improvements This app does basically everything you would ask for in a science app! The only fix I would love to see in an updated version is if the cartoon lessons were much more interactive. Instead of just a cartoon, perhaps when the magnet is touched and a reaction happens in an interactive way it would make the learning even that much more fun! Also perhaps if the glossary pics were animated as well to give it a better grasp of understanding.
General review I really love this app. Perfect for school aged children! I really wish more educational apps were this fantastic and I eagerly look forward to more apps from this developer! Perfect 5 star app that will definitely be used over and over again on my iPad! Kudos to this developer for making such a fantastic app!

PicoToons Coloring Book (v1.0.1) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked What an amazing, fun art app for younger kids to play with! I love all the different categories and the infinite amount if fun coloring with this app. Love that there are tons of stickers to use and different art tools. The best part about this app is the settings section. You can choose the level depending on the child's age and what tools are available for them. This makes a great transitional learning app for kids to use as young as 2 years old that can grow with the child as the get older and learn the different art tools!
Improvements I would love to see another option to change the music. The song playing in the background is fantastic however after hearing it play over and over again it can get a bit redundant. Also, under the occupation and animal category maybe put the names under the illustration. For instance the word cat or ballerina or astronaut under the illustration so younger children can learn to read the word as it it being colored. Also it would be awesome of there was an option to make the illustrations animated. Perhaps have them wiggle or dance after they are completely colored.
General review Amazing art app. This is one of the best art apps I have seen, actually maybe the best one I have seen in terms of tool options and colors and textures, etc. Illustrations are fun and welcoming. The developers did an amazing job with this app. If I had the option to change the music I would give this 5 stars on the App Store. This is definatly one of my favorite apps that will be used daily by my daughter!