AppStore User Rating:
The Boy Who Cried Wolf VL2 Storybook shares a classic children’s tale in separate printed and signed formats. The signed format shows the pages of the book with a sign interpreter telling the story in American Sign Language. The printed format shows the pages of the book with text, an optional video clip of the signed version, and highlighted words that users can touch to hear the word, see it signed and see it finger spelled. In addition to the two book formats, there is a small dictionary where users can find words in alphabetical order, hear them, see them signed and see them finger spelled.
- Professional American Sign Language (ASL) storytelling
- Over 140 ASL vocabulary words
- Voice overs for vocabulary
- Easy navigation
- Sign language videos on each page
The Boy Who Cried Wolf VL2 Storybook is a high-quality app that can provide a beautiful story experience for deaf or hard of hearing children as well as introduce or help a hearing student practice sign language. The app will also be useful to parents of a deaf or hard of hearing child, as they can easily share the story together. The app’s navigation is easy to use, but perhaps could use some improved menu icons. A sheep represents the signed storytelling version of the story, a pine tree represents the text version, and a sailboat leads to the fingerspelling and ASL glossary. I would suggest that icons which carry a bit more meaning should be used, such as a still graphic of a person signing, a book with pages open, and perhaps a dictionary or book with a question mark for the glossary. This would make the app a lot more accessible to the very young or to persons with reading disabilities.
It’s wonderful to see a signed story in the App Store! Children with hearing differences will be very excited to see an ebook in their “native language.” Parents of deaf children can use the app to assist in their own education about ASL, and also will at last be able to share a signed story to their children even if they are not proficient in the language. In addition, there are many, many sound reasons to introduce sign language to hearing children as well. Persons outside of special education circles may not be aware of how much sign language is used with hearing children who have other special needs, such as autism or Down syndrome. This e-book will open doors for many of these students. Furthermore, there is a growing body of research that indicates normally-developing children benefit from learning sign language and especially fingerspelling as they are learning to read. The nature of skills such as fingerspelling supports literacy development by helping young learners focus on the letters that make the words. This book can also provide a step in the process of becoming bilingual. Young children’s minds are especially receptive to language learning, and most can benefit from learning two or more languages at the same time.
This app also will support visual learners, hearing or not. Most people (and most school lessons) are predisposed to the auditory modality-people talk. Children who learn better through the visual mode need more support, and apps such as this one can help provide that.
Parents and non-special education teachers will be interested in the information section of this app. The developers did a good job of providing background information telling users the advantages of using sign language with young children, the connections to literacy development and the advantages of using the app. There are links to additional information for people who are interested.
This app is quite enjoyable, and the art work is gorgeous. Many children will be fascinated with the opportunity to learn signs, and are likely to take advantage of the signed glossary as well as the signed storytelling or the sign videos on each page of the book. The app would be improved by offering a narrated version of the story with the signed version, the printed version, or both. As it stands, a young user who has not yet mastered either sign language or cracking the printed code of reading could not access this book independently, and that seems a shame since the story is specifically targeted at young learners. Another resource that should be added would be a clear chart of finger spelling forms that shows how to make each letter.
For a deaf or hard of hearing child, this app is invaluable. There are very few resources of this sort for Ipad, and having a book with storytelling in the user’s native language would be a profound advantage. Though it seems a bit pricy, users need to keep in mind the resources necessary to produce such a work, including the complexity of ensuring an accurate translation and the production of the videos. The file also is understandably large, so it will take time to download.
This app does not include any outside advertising, no links to social media or in-app purchases. However, there are unrestricted access points to the open internet and the App Store. This is a concern for teachers or families with young users that they wish to protect from accessing these things. Developers would be well served by creating a protected area where adults can use these resources, while being assured that their young children cannot accidentally find their way onto the internet.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf VL2 Storybook offers the well-known children’s tale in text and sign language formats with several options for combining sign with text.