When children visit the penguin exhibit at the zoo, they wish they could climb in and enjoy sliding on the ice, swimming in the water and waddling with the penguins. With the Rounds: Parker Penguin app, children can do just that. The main focus of the app is to teach children about the life cycle of a penguin, but as children go through the story of Parker Penguin and, eventually, his son, Percy Penguin, they not only learn interesting facts about penguins, they also get to have fun interacting with the penguins during various life stages and they learn to read to too.
When children start using the app, they have the option to have the text read to them or to read the text themselves. Those who choose to have the text read to them can choose whether to have words highlighted as they are read. Children who choose to read the text by themselves also choose how long to keep the text on the screen, although the main text stays on the screen the entire time. While the ability for children to read the text by themselves is beneficial for those reading on their own, the app is more enjoyable when children get to hear Parker Penguin’s voice.
Whatever methods children choose to go through the app, they are rewarded with an impressive amount of information about penguins. The main text of the app presents a lot of information and children can click on the blue dots on each screen or on the penguins themselves to bring up more information. As children go through the screens, they also watch Parker Penguin grow, eventually taking him on his journey to find a mate and, once he has found a mate, experiencing the birth of a baby penguin.
The process then starts again with Parker’s son, Percy. Since the app contains so many facts, the story may be too long for most children to get through in one sitting, especially when the story repeats. However, children can take a break from the app and resume right where they left off to make sure they do not miss out on any stage of the penguin life cycle.
While the highlighted text is nice for beginning readers and the amount of information about penguins is impressive, the real highlight of the app is the ability to interact with Parker Penguin. Children guide Parker Penguin around the Antarctic, swiping and tilting to help Parker Penguin waddle and slide across the frozen terrain and swim through the icy waters. One of the highlights of the app is swimming through the water to catch fish and avoid predators, such as whales who like to feast on penguins. They also get to help with important life processes, such as helping Parker Penguin keep the egg warm and helping Percy Penguin hatch from the egg and shed his baby feathers.
Children will enjoy learning with the Rounds: Parker Penguin app as they get to interact with one of their favorite animals. As they slide, swim and waddle with Parker Penguin, children will get to feel a little like penguins for themselves. They may even start to shiver as they hear the cool Antarctic winds blow in the background and help Parker Penguin and Percy Penguin travel through the snow.
|Good Point||The interactive elements help children actually experience the facts they are learning.|
|Bad Point||The text is long, making it hard for some children to get through it in one sitting.|
|Comment & Tip||Have children play the app in short intervals. They can always leave the app and resume the story right where they left off.|
|App Name||Rounds: Parker Penguin||Developer||Nosy Crow Limited © 2012 Nosy Crow Ltd|
|Price||4.99$||Latest Update||Dec 21, 2012|
|Size||117 MB||OS||iOS 3.1.3 or later|
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