Monday, November 25, 2013

The Nativity Story App {A FlyBy Review}

I haven't been reviewing apps lately, and this one reminds me of how much fun a great app can be.  The Nativity Story is available for iPad or iPhone.  We used it on Dale's iPad, as we could not get it to work on the 1st generation iPad that the kids have.  (The app requires IOS 6)

I was a bit skeptical about this app initially.  They say it is for ages 2-8, and I do have one in that range (Trina is 7), and the promotional blurb stuff sounded pretty neat.  Nativity story is a draw.  Electronic vintage pop-up book.  Woodcut-style illustrations.  Can use it with the narrator reading to you, or you can read it yourself.

So I went for it, and I'm thrilled that I did.  This is an app that is definitely worth all of the $3.99 (iPad) or $1.99 (iPhone) pricetag.

You start off with the opening screen, where you can choose a language.  Another HUGE plus... my kids can listen to it in English a few times, and then explore it in Spanish to support their Spanish language studies.

In the photo on the right, you can see that we've selected Spanish (the white one is the one you've chosen) so if we now tap the book (La Historia de Navidad) we'll get started in Spanish.

All of my other screenshots are going to be in English, by the way.

Then you start going through the story.  Fun, rhyming text, which certainly appeals to the younger set.  My kids chose to have the narrator read to them.  My husband chose NOT to listen to the narrator.  One really great aspect, though, is that you can change that without having to start over.  So if the kids read it themselves, but get tired or find it too challenging to finish, they can switch gears.

You see the little speech bubble-looking things on the screenshot?  When you tap those, the characters will speak.

Don't the illustrations really have that vintage old-timey feel?

I love it.

Within the text, there are red hints ("knocked on the door" on this page) that give the kids a suggestion of something they can do to interact with this page.

When you "knock" (tap) on the door, it opens, and a person comes out.  At that point, a speech thing pops up over Joseph.  After you have him talk, the person in the door has a speech icon too.

The other great thing is that initially all of the windows are closed.  If you tap on the windows, they will open up (like the one on the right) with a person in each window.

My husband thinks the greatest part of this pop-up book is that you can't tear all the little tab things, or have the pop-up illustrations fall off.

On this page, you have all kinds of things going on.  Tap the window, and all sorts of people appear at doors, windows, etc.

But the really great thing is that those two little kids on the upper floor?  They chase each other back and forth, a lot like the slide-y types of pop-up book activities.

My husband laughed when he came across this one (he was my screen-shot getter for this review, since it is his iPad).

Nostalgic is a word used in some of the promo materials. This page really had that nostalgic feel to it.

Trina's absolute favorite thing of all was to play with the chickens on this page.  The story has Mary & Joseph arriving at the market, and if you swipe at the curtain, it opens up.  But down in front of the stall are baskets of produce, and two crates of chickens.

You can toss the chicken crates up into the air and they end up bouncing around a bit like dice.  You can see here that one is flying, and the other has landed with the poor chicken being upside-down.

Trina thought this was so very funny, and she just giggled and giggled on this page.

At the end of the story, you can explore the actual Bible text that tells the story, which I thought was a great thing.  My kids pretty much ignored that though.

I think this app is a very worthwhile purchase.  Great story, fabulous illustrations, cute extra little touches, fantastic use of technology.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Jonathan Petersen said...

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Megan said...

That is one fantastic review, my friend. I need to review this one too, but feel like just linking over to yours! *grin*