Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise?


  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • Best of the Best

  • Caillou: What's That Funny Noise?
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: March 31, 2014
  • Quality
    Editor: 100%
  • Education
    Editor: 100%
  • Entertainment
    Editor: 100%
  • Value
    Editor: 100%
  • Child Friendly
    Editor: 90%

Review Summary:

Caillou, a character from a long-running television series, now has an ebook! This delightful interactive story will help young children learn literacy and thinking skills as they develop strategies to comfort themselves at night.

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 3

Download on the App Store

Overview

Caillou, a character from a long-running television series, now has an ebook! This delightful interactive story will help young children learn literacy and thinking skills as they develop strategies to comfort themselves at night.

Features include:

  • Guidance to implement dialogic reading
  • Professional narration
  • Three levels of text complexity
  • Reading tips for parents
  • Recording capabilities

Quality

Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise? is an outstanding example of an interactive ebook for young children. The app is very well designed, with intriguing features that take advantage of the Ipad’s capabilities. There are three modes of play: a read-to-me option, a mode designed to encourage parent-child interaction, and an imaginative story-telling system that will encourage children to be creative and build language skills. Adults have control of many aspects of the program, including the interactivity, the music and sounds, the recordings, the level of complexity, and the language (French or English).

Education

This app answers one big concern about ebooks for young children: it encourages parent-child interaction, which researchers have determined is vital to early reading readiness. While many other apps are designed for a child to use independently, this one is built for parent and child to use together. The prompts and activities will help parents elicit language and build vocabulary, which are two vital building blocks for reading readiness.

The app also includes a wealth of reading tips that can be applied to every reading experience with the child. Parents will discover or be reminded of such vital activities as asking questions about the story, allowing the child to predict what will happen next, and playing phonics games such as “What picture do you see that begins with /mmm/?”

This app is a great example of how to use a technique called “dialogic reading.” Dialogic reading is a fancy name for what many parents have known for generations: children who are actively involved in stories will learn more and eventually have the skills to learn to read. The root word for the name of the technique is “dialog,” which means “conversation.” This app prompts adults with conversation-starting questions throughout the story. With three levels of complexity available, there are lots of opportunities for discussion.

Entertainment

Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise? will quickly become a favorite app, much like a favorite storybook. The read-to-me mode will let even the youngest children enjoy the app alone, but don’t neglect the huge impact that shared reading can have on young minds. Each page has interactive hot spots related to the story, such as turning the flashlight on when Caillou hears a funny noise. The accompanying sound effects are appropriate and add to the f un.

Users can choose an avatar for the adult and the child that comes into play in the “Read and Talk” section, when adults are prompted with conversational questions and the young listeners have a “hint” button that will show a visual hint about how to answer.

The app also features several recording functions. Adults can record their own familiar voices reading the “living words,” which are some of the key words of the story. There is also a story-telling feature, where children can choose a backdrop, then add puppets and other objects, move them around, and tell a story about their creation for recording and later playback.

Value

Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise? is an outstanding value. Not only does the app offer a great beginning reading experience for young children, it also models research-proven strategies for adults to interact with the kids to maximize the book’s impact on literacy development. The skills and strategies that are offered within the app can be generalized and used for nearly any other book or ebook, which makes the system invaluable to parents and teachers of young children.

Child Friendliness

This app contains no outside advertising, in-app purchases, or links to social media. There is a protected information section that invites users to subscribe to the developers’ newsletter or to get further information by opening a web browser. This section is prevented by a button that must be held for three seconds. It is a concern that there is a loading graphic that appears when the button is held (a filling line), and some young children may become engaged with watching the line grow, defeating the purpose of the system.  Another concern is that the Settings section, where users can access options that control the app’s performance, such as sounds, interactivity, reading level, language, and recording, is not protected in any way.  Though this section does not connect to the internet, it would be better if it had a child-safe access system to prevent children from accidentally modifying the app’s settings or accidentally recording over the adult’s desired vocals for each of the “living words.”

Caillou, a character from a long-running television series, now has an ebook! This delightful interactive story will help young children learn literacy and thinking skills as they develop strategies to comfort themselves at night.

Editor rating
Rated 5 stars