AppStore User Rating:
Butterfly Kisses is a heart-warming story that speculates which stuffed animal would give the best goodnight kiss. The ebook is bound to make children feel loved and secure, so it makes great bedtime fare, and it includes a few fun activities as well.
- Engaging, imaginative story
- Beautiful and unique illustration style
- Read to Me and Read to Myself options
- Three supplemental activities
- Interactive pages
This ebook is a delightful version of a children’s picture book that will entertain children from preschool through lower elementary grades. The app features interactions on most pages, clear narration, and interesting animal sound effects, as well as fun background music. It is mostly intuitive to use, with clear navigation arrows on each page. Each page also has a butterfly in the center top that opens a page-by-page table of contents, which is a nice idea, but on some pages it is quite difficult to discern because of the coloring, background, or even other butterflies on the page. This could make it difficult for a young child to perceive on some of the pages.
The creators of Butterfly Kisses have done a lot of things right. The narration is outstanding, and words are highlighted as they are read, which will really help beginning readers get a lot from the story. The sound effects are stunning, but can be turned off at will to encourage young children to participate by making their own animal noises. Each page features a lady bug that is sometimes easily found and sometimes quite challenging. In addition, there are free companion educational resources available as downloadable PDF files on the author’s website.
The app’s three additional activities include a jigsaw-like puzzle that demonstrates how the unique style of artwork was created, a writing activity encouraging young users to create their own lines to the story, and a free drawing area that will entice children to illustrate their verses. These activities are accessible from the table of contents page and at the end of the story, but it might be nice to have them more fully integrated into the story itself. The writing activity is a bit challenging, and may not be useful for preschoolers unless they have adult help, since it involves typing a new verse for the story. It would be nice if there was a recording option for younger children to use. Many children really like to hear their own voices, as well.
Perhaps the largest drawback, though, is that the app “remembers” the responses to the writing activity from session to session, even when it is completely shut down. The words can be erased one at a time, or the entire app must be completely deleted and reinstalled to use the activity again. It would be easier on parents if the app included an option to save work, but also had the option to clear all for the next play session.
Butterfly Kisses is an enjoyable ebook that many children will find soothing and gentle. It encourages imagination and self-expression, which are wonderful traits, and also builds observation and thinking skills. Each page has hidden interactions that will engage young readers as they tap different parts of the pages to see the results. The sights and sounds will provide a rich sensory experience for kids that they will love. The illustrations are also quite unique, having been made with a hand-made paper-sculpture technique.
This gives the pictures an unusual amount of texture and depth, and would make a great supplemental activity for kids to try their hand at a similar technique after they’ve read the book.
This ebook is a good value for families or classrooms with young children, and will provide lots of fun as children read the book again and again. It would be better if the activities were a bit easier to reuse or to have other children use, but with a bit of planning and effort on the part of teachers or parents, multiple children can enjoy the ebook to its fullest.