Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rounds: Franklin Frog - a book app for young children (ages 3-6)

Young children are drawn to picture book apps that combine narration, interactive features and appealing illustrations. But really, it's the story that counts. Does it engage children? Do they want to find out what happens next? Do they want to read it again the next day? Our students have really enjoyed reading Franklin Frog, the first story in the Rounds series by Nosy Crow.
Rounds: Franklin Frog
by Barry and Emma Tranter
developed by Nosy Crow
preview video
available on iTunes
2013 Cybils Book App award finalist
ages 3 - 6
This book app does a beautiful job introducing preschoolers and kindergartners to real facts about frogs, from their habitat to feeding to metamorphosis, through an appealing story about Franklin Frog and his offspring. It draws children into the story, as they guide the frogs with their fingers. Children make the frogs jump, swim, catch flies, avoid predators, find a place to hibernate, croak to attract a mate and more.

The Rounds series introduces young children to animals' life cycles from infancy through adulthood, onto reproduction and childrearing. The stories then follow the main characters' children, going round and round again. Here, children first meet Franklin Frog, and then his mate Felicity Frog. From one of their eggs, a new frogspawn hatches and the story begins again following young Frasier Frog.

This app always feels like an exploration of how a frog lives, and never feels like a game. The interactions focus on exploring the way frogs move, avoid herons (see below), eat insects and find mates. As the Horn Book review says, this app presents the information in "an accessible way that’s respectful of both its subject and its audience."

School Library Journal recently included Franklin Frog in their best apps for January 2013. They wrote, "With its simple activities and circular format, this colorful app is bound to keep young children engaged through several frog generations. ... A delightful balance between educational and entertaining."

Enjoy this video to get a sense of how this book shares so much information through a sweet story:

Check out more 2012 Cybils finalists to find great books to read with your kids. The 2012 Cybils winners will be announced on February 14th!

Review ©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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