What is the Story?
Eli Noyes creative storytelling, which first appeared in 1992 as a "Living Book" computer software program, now shines in an app. The reader follows Ruff the dog through 12 different scene as he chases his wayward bone. At first, Ruff is following the tossed bone into his neighbor's yard, but then the bone descends into chambers found under a tree, from there to a cave, then magically into clouds in the sky, the ocean, and even into outer space. This fanciful story is a hoot to explore because almost everything in every scene is interactive. Ants dance, clouds animate, and an octopus tickles.
Why This App Is Good
In addition to entertaining, the app does a great job of helping kids to learn to read by highlighting words as read, having all words be spoken when touched, and allowing kids to change the language spoken from English to Spanish. The app also has options about turning off interaction until the narrator has finished and making kids wait for one animation to complete before triggering a new one.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.