Revisit loveable Arthur, the memorable character from the well-known childhood books authored by Marc Brown, and a familiar face in several household through animation on PBS stations nationwide. Arthur brought to life simple, but real, situations all kids face at some time or another, helping kids see that problems happen and they can be fixed.
Now, Arthur comes to us in an app that lets kids be read to or allows them to dive deep into the story, learn to read, and become immensely immersed in the experience. The app is not only an online book, it’s and experience to be had by all. Thanks to Wanderful, Inc. for bringing us yet another way to bring Arthur into our lives, once again.
Arthur’s Birthday tells the same story as book of the same title. It’s basically the same story, but in electronic format; and, just as every one of Marc Brown’s books had an important lesson to teach, this app does the same.
Costing just $4.99, you may think it best to just go out and purchase the book itself. However, once you download this app and take a look for yourself, you’ll realize nothing could be further from the truth. Watch as your youngsters takes hold of the story and finds themselves engaged for hours.
When you first download the app, you will have a choice to be read to, or to read the book on your own. From this main screen, parents can also choose Options, which allows you to see more storybooks offered by Wanderful, and to select Languages.
Currently, the default language is English. You can also choose to hear the story in Spanish, by selecting the globe icon located in the upper left corner of the storyboard screen.
You can choose advanced options if you upgrade your app with a $2.99 in-app purchase. This will give you Premium access, which also offers classroom activities and more. Access to content in French is also unlocked with a Premium upgrade.
While listening to the story, kids are encouraged to tap on different items on the screen to see what happens: Arthur may say something to Muffy, a door may open and kids will come shuffling out, or a bell might ring. All of these small touches make the experience more engaging for kids, helping them become a part of the story.
In Arthur’s Birthday, Arthur and Muffy, a fellow schoolmate, have unknowingly planned their birthday parties for the same day. Considering that they share a few common friends, you can imagine the issues that ensue when they try to send out invites, forcing friends to make difficult decisions.
This particular story offers kids the fun that is all Arthur, along with conflict-resolution skills.
From the home page, parents and teachers alike can use the provided tips on how to make the most of the app to help build solid reading and comprehension skills and to pick up on lessons being taught.
The only issue I came across was when I tapped on Arthur while the reader was telling the story. The app stopped the narration and had Arthur do his thing. After Arthur was done, the narration did not continue. I had to get out of the page and jump back in.
That’s just a small item that can be easily fixed. Overall, this app is worth every penny you’ll spend on it, because it provides a treasure trove of value to kids, helping them master reading and social skills simultaneously.