The enormity expanse of the ocean's life has always intrigued me. I particularly remember visiting tide pools with my mother, looking in each little nook and cranny to see what creatures lived there. But I can hardly imagine how scientists are exploring the depths of the world's oceans. So I was fascinated by Journey Into the Deep, a new book app based on the book of the same title by Rebecca L. Johnson.
Journey Into the DeepRebecca Johnson begins the app with a short video where she tells about how she was captivated by an article about the Census of Marine Life and the incredible marine animals scientists were discovering. The Census of Marine Life was conducted globally between 2000 and 2010 by more than 2000 researchers. After reading this article, Johnson knew she wanted to take kids on an "armchair journey through the ocean in a way that allowed them to meet census scientists, explore the ocean as they were exploring it, and see some of the remarkable creatures they were discovering in their quest."
written by Rebecca L. Johnson
book app developed by Lerner Publishing
available at the iTunes App Store
for the iPad, iOS 3.2 or later
current price: $2.99
preview the print book on Google Books
ages 10 - 15
This app is remarkable for the its depth and breadth, as it takes readers from the shallow edges of the ocean to its unfathomable depths. At each stage, readers are introduced to scientists exploring this particular part of the ocean, creatures they have discovered, and ways they are doing their scientific research as part of the Census of Marine Life. The photographs are truly captivating on the iPad, absolutely brilliant with color. At each stage, you can click on animals and reveal the captions. This has the effect of making the photographs stand out, and draws readers into interacting with them to find out more. Quotes from Census scientists are highlighted in bold red; when you tap a quote, a picture of the scientist appears, along with their research institution.
My only hope is that at some point Lerner is able to add a narrative audio track to this app. I know that many 9 and 10 year olds would be fascinated by the animals and the scientific research that Johnson shares. But the text really is for careful reading, either for a family read-aloud for an interested middle grade reader, or as an independent read for a teenager.
Let's hope that more nonfiction books make their way to Book Apps. There is so much capability to captivate interested audiences with well designed apps like Journey Into the Deep.
I do hope that some nonfiction apps are nominated for the Cybils Award's new Book App category. Have you nominated your favorite book app yet? Nominations are open until October 15th.
Do you love nonfiction for kids? Head over to 100 Scope Notes today to read all about Nonfiction Monday.
This review copy was kindly sent by Lerner Apps for review.
Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.