Growing up, I was often told that you should never judge a person by appearance alone. Looks can be deceiving, and you'll be surprised by how much you can miss if you choose to befriend only people who look a certain way.
Such message is explored in Open Wide Snap, a lovely storybook app by Fiona Trewekee, about a gentle crocodile who has difficulties finding someone to clean his teeth because of his intimidating appearance. Presented in the form of a cute, rhyming story with a lively narration and lovely illustrations, this app is likely to grab your junior's attention.
Open Wide Snap
Open Wide Snap begins by introducing us to the main character, a crocodile who lived by the river. The crocodile had a problem; his teeth were dirty and about to turn bad, but due to physical limitations, he could not clean them himself.
Thus, the crocodile set out to find someone who will clean his teeth for him. Unfortunately, crocodiles tend to have a bad reputation with the other animals. While the crocodile did meet several animals -- a monkey, an ostrich and a hyena -- none of them wanted to help him. They feared that the crocodile would snap them up quick once they agreed to clean his teeth.
Tired and desperate, the crocodile ran into a friendly rabbit who was scratching about. As luck would have him, the rabbit agreed to help. In return, the crocodile would help get rid of a thistle stuck in the rabbit's long, floppy ear.
The story ended happily, with both the crocodile and the rabbit successfully accomplishing what they set out to do. They parted ways, but were happy to have made a new friend.
What parents need to know
Like in most storybook apps, Open Wide Snap offers two modes to suit different readers. Younger juniors can choose to have the app read the story to them, while older readers can opt to read by themselves. If your junior finds a difficulty with a word, they can tap on it and have the app read the word to them.
In all pages of the book, curious readers can also tap on an object to know its name. The app will briefly show a label on the object, and the narrator will tell the reader what it is.
In addition to the story, the app also includes two mini games to keep your juniors entertained. You can choose to play a simple, six-piece jigsaw puzzle or a card matching game.
What I liked about the app
I have tried several storybook apps, but I've found my new favorite. Open Wide Snap is really polished and well-rounded, and because of this I am giving it my seal of approval.
My favorite part of the app is the narration, which, for me is the best I have ever come across. Voiced by Sarah-Jane Honeywell of CBeebies, the narration is lively and entertaining. It is so good that even if I could read the story by myself, I preferred to have the app read to me.
The second thing I liked about the app was the story itself. I think Fiona did a splendid job writing a simple and cute story that effectively delivers a great message to the readers. The characters are lovable -- I sympathized with the crocodile and was upset for him when the animals refused to help. Thank goodness the story ended happily for him!
The illustrations, done by Mike Stonelake, are also really lovely, mixing textures and colors to create a fresh and unique look. I appreciate the decision to use subtle animations; they complemented the story nicely without being distracting.
Two words, get it. With a great story, entertaining narration and lovely graphics, Open Wide Snap is a fantastic app that you would be crazy not to add to your storybook collection!