WordWorld Tales: A Christmas Present for Dog is one of two appisodes offered for free inside of the PBS's WordWorld Tales app. The A Christmas Present of Dog appisode contains a story presented as a video, which stops periodically to let players complete fun learning activities. Set in WordWorld, a PBS television show where all of the characters and objects are created from the letters found in each one's name, this story focuses on Dog, Pig, Bear, and Ant at Christmas time.
On Christmas Eve, Dog, Pig, Bear, and Ant sit down together to write letters to Santa expressing their desires for Christmas. The next day, each of the presents arrives via the letters that spell the gift coming down the chimney. But unfortunately, when the letters that form Dog's requested B-A-L-L are dropped over the chimney by Santa, one "L" misses the opening, so Dog gets B-A-L. While outside to look for the missing "L," the friends run into other animals and end up sharing their own gifts. Ant divvies up his cookie for his cousins, Pig gives his requested sled to Sheep, and when Bear realizes that they can't find the missing "L," she dismantles her gift of a doll so that she can give Dog one of its "L"s.
To set the holiday mood, kids dig in snow to find the letters S-N-O-W, and when they mush them together, it starts to snow in the scene. Cute! Next, players help the animal friends to write words in their letters to Santa. Kids practice handwriting as they follow on-screen cues to write S-L-E-D, D-O-L-L, C-O-O-K-I-E, and B-A-L-L. They also help the WordFriends to decorate a Christmas tree and steer Sheep down a hill on a sled.
By combining a video story with interactive elements that bring kids into the story, WordWorld's A Christmas Present for Dog delivers a powerful message about the meaning of Christmas. While each character enjoys getting a Christmas gift, they like giving it away even better. Kids watch a superbly animated video story; and they get vested in tale because every few minutes the video pauses to ask for the child's help.
The activities present learning in ways that make them seem important. The WordFriends need help with spelling and handwriting, so kids do it for them. When Ant wants to give his cookie away to his relatives, kids help to deliver each portion by moving the letters that spell "cookie" to each waiting ant.
WordWorld Tales: A Christmas Present for Dog
is great holiday fare for young children who are starting to write their letters. For families with kids ages 4-7, it is a delightful holiday story to share.This WordWorld Tales: A Christmas Present for Dog app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen. The app was originally published on June 6, 2014 as a stand-alone app by PlaySquare LLC and was reviewed here on Dec. 10, 2014. We updated this review Dec. 6, 2015 to reflect a change in the publisher and to let you know that this appisode is now now apart of the WorldWorld Tales app. It is one of the two free appisodes found inside that app. The other free appisode is Happy Birthday, Dog! and that review can be found here.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.