Storybook Based on the Movie
The Good Dinosaur: Storybook Deluxe introduces kids to the story of The Good Dinosaur movie, which is coming out Nov. 25, 2015.
SPOILER ALERT: This book app reveals the plot of the movie, including the death of the main character's father.
The Good Dinosaur is a coming-of-age tale starring Arlo, a young Apatosaurus, who must overcome his timid nature. When Arlo is swept away from his home by a flood, he meets and befriends a human boy called Spot. The two take on attacking Pterodactyls, meet a friendly Styracosaurus, and befriend a family of T-Rexes.
How Kids Explore
Offering read-to-me narration of the 35-page book, kids see a split screen with the words of the book on the left and part of the interactive scene showing on the right. After the narrator reads the words, which don't highlight, kids slide the words to the left to reveal a full interactive scene or game.
The app presents eight puzzles or mini-games, as well as lots of animation and other hotspots that respond to the reader's touch. The games vary, but some involve flinging corn into a silo, tapping gophers in a whack-a-mole takeoff, and jumping over attacking Pterodactyls. The eight games can be accessed from the main page and replayed.
The Good Dinosaur: Storybook Deluxe is a great way to introduce kids to characters of the newest Disney-Pixar movie. But it is also enjoyable as a standalone story about a fearful baby dinosaur.
By keeping the narration separate from the interactivity and animation, kids are better able to concentrate on the story they are hearing. That narration includes the voices of the actors from the movie when appropriate, and those voices can be heard in the interactive scenes as well. While these words don't highlight as read -- a feature that would have been good to include -- the absence isn't a deal-breaker, since the target audience of age 6-8-year-olds is already reading. The book comes with the option to turn off the narration, so kids can read the story to themselves.
Each page is accompanied by a musical score, which can be overly loud. Fortunately, that too can be turned off in the options found by tapping the "paw" icon on the narrated pages. Kids can navigate to a favorite page, using the table of contents.
The games nicely incorporate elements of the story. And the gameplay of tapping, swiping, and puzzling works well with the level of hand-eye coordination of players of this age. While parents will recognize many of the game formats as standard fare, kids this age will enjoy them and may find them novel.
The Good Dinosaur: Storybook Deluxe shows animated scenes from the movie and they are breathtaking! The scenes also contain many interactive bits that are magical, including a scene where Arlo and his father thump their tails on the ground to create a mist of sparkling fireflies. Plus, the app provides hints about where kids should tap to find the hotspots.
Kids will be drawn to this story about an adorable baby dinosaur who learns to overcome his fears and pals up with a human boy. But because this story includes the death of Arlo's father, we set the age at 6 to 8. Readers will enjoy this well-done book app, and it will make them clamor to see the movie as well. It looks like Disney-Pixar has another hit movie on its hands!
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