Dinosaur Roar! brings Paul and Henrietta Strickland's popular dino book into the digital world by providing toddlers and preschoolers with three modes of play. Kids can explore the book, color some of its pages, and generate dinosaur names based on their own name.
The Book Mode
The heart of this app is the reading of the book. Kids can have the book read aloud, read it themselves, or record themselves reading. In the read-to-me option, the readers are children, dramatically traipsing through a narration dripping with onomatopoeia and rhyming words. Dinosaurs will roar and squeak, gobble and nibble, and munch and scrunch.
Ten of the twelve pages introduce children to comparative words by using different colored and sized dinosaurs. The book starts with a giant dinosaur bellowing at a tiny quaking one, with the caption "Dinosaur roar, dinosaur squeak." When readers touch the little dino, it does "squeak!" Next you see "dinosaur fierce, dinosaur meek." What is funny about this page is that the meek dinosaur is humongous and the fierce one is relatively small.
The next pages reveal dinosaurs demonstrating the concepts of fast-slow, above and below, weak and strong, short and long, fat and tiny, clean and slimy, sweet and grumpy, and spiky and lumpy. While the sounds are fierce and loud, there is something endearing about the way each dinosaur is drawn. The book app offers light animation and the occasional interaction to make a tiny dinosaur "squeak."
The Two Other Modes
The coloring section has 14 pages, most representing the pages of the book. Kids use the 12 crayons along the bottom of the screen to color the dinosaurs. If they select the rainbow crayon, it will automatically color the picture to match the illustrations in the book. Kids cannot color outside of the lines. There is an option to create your own drawing; and all drawings can be saved to the device's camera roll.
In the "Name" section, kids type in their own name and then shake the device to generate dinosaur names such as "Jinny-o-saurus" or "Jinny-a-tops."
This book is adorable! The dinosaurs, artfully drawn in bright, bold colors, appear fierce but never scary. There is always something silly or charming about them as they demonstrate the concepts being taught. For example, the "above" dinosaur is so gigantic that he appears to squish the smaller "below" dinosaur on which he lies. The Stricklands pull off a real drawing feat when they admirably depict a "grumpy" and a "sweet" reptile.
The use of rhyme and onomatopoeia make this book app a joy to hear read aloud, and the child actors are terrific in their delivery. The unusual method of having the book scroll forward as if you are paging through one huge scene of dinosaurs, works well to let kids easily move back and forth to find their favorite beasts.
Each dinosaur is gently animated so that you see eyes blink and necks move. It would have been fun to have more interaction, such as having each dinosaur respond to the child's touch. But as is, Dinosaur Roar! is a raucous romp you don't want to miss!
Dinosaur Roar! is a fun introduction to dinosaurs for kids who like stomping and romping. It is a book app about having fun with sounds, so the narration is dramatic and loud. Don't select this one right before nap or bedtime; but do enjoy it before acting out dinosaurs invading your playroom!
This Dinosaur Roar! app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.