With his knack for fun rhymes and silly antics, Dr. Seuss has helped many kids learn to read. Many of his titles are not just available on bookshelves, but also in digital libraries as well. In 2010, Oceanhouse Media released an app book for The Cat in the Hat, and while it was of good quality some readers may noticed it lacked the interactive elements often associated with modern apps.
And so, last week the publisher has re-released the title as a new app with new animations, more interactions, and over 30 activities that help reinforce key literacy skills. This new app is the first in their new Read & Learn series, and is called The Cat in the Hat - Read & Learn.
More Interactions and Mini Games
Similar to the old app, in the new app you can flick through 31 colorful pages to find out what wacky adventures await siblings Dick and Sally when the mischievous Cat in the Hat arrives at their home. The text is highlighted as it is read out loud by a narrator, and you can tap on the pictures to see them labeled.
A key new feature is that every page has been animated to bring the story to life. In the opening scene, for example, smoke puffs can be seen billowing out from the chimney as the tree sways in the wind. In the next scene, tennis balls can be seen bouncing around the house.
The new app also allows you to interact with the story through gestures. You’ll be able to tap, drag, and even tilt your device to uncover surprises and move the story along as you read. One scene will have you dragging the Cat in the Hat to move him inside the house, while another scene will have you swiping up to open the box containing Thing 1 and Thing 2.
In addition to the new animations and interactions, the app comes with 31 mini games hidden throughout the book. These games are designed to practice spelling, rhyming, phonics, and reading comprehension. In one game, you’ll be asked to drag the missing letter to spell a word. In another, you’ll draw lines to match the things that sound the same.
Parents Need to Know
Like the previous version, the new Cat in the Hat app includes the option to read independently or with narration. You also have a button on every page that will allow you to repeat the narration as many times as you like.
Additionally, the new app includes reading stats in the Parents section, which includes how many minutes were spent reading and how many pages your child has read. This allows you to monitor your child’s progress in the book. It’s possible to reset these stats.
The app has no third-party ads and no in-app purchases. All links are secured behind parental lock, and no Internet connection is required to access the story.
Things I Like
While I think the old app is already good as it is, the new app is an excellent remake. The new features really engage you to fully explore the story. Now that every tap unveils a delightful animation, you’d want to see what’s there to find on every page. It’s during this process that you’ll learn to associate the pictures and words.
I also enjoy the new learning activities. Hidden on every page, these simple but fun mini games help reinforce learning and reading comprehension. I appreciate that you can skip them if you don’t feel like playing, and come back to them later once you’ve finished the book.
Finally, I want to note that the new app has an overall better, more friendly user interface. I like that it’s easier to access important menu options, such as the button for repeating the narration (previously you had to tap and hold) and the page navigator.
Cat in the Hat - Read & Learn takes an old favorite and upgrades it with engaging new features, such as wacky animations and fun learning activities. It maintains excellent reading options that include narration and word highlighting, as well as the tap and learn feature. Overall, this is a fantastic remake that I’d highly recommend for early readers and fans of Dr. Seuss.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Oceanhouse Media
Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is a leading publisher of more than 400 apps. The company’s mantra is “Creativity with Purpose,” developing apps that uplift, educate and inspire. You should also check out their other apps:
Dr. Seuss Treasury offers over 50 Dr. Seuss classics in one app. With excellent reading features that includes narration and text highlighting, it’s a great choice for kids ages 3-12. Parents can download and read as many books within the 7-day trial period to see if they’ll suit their kids.