Leviatopia tells the story of two children, Ella and Alex, who discover a city that has been swallowed by a whale. They get lost in the city, which is full of magical characters and plenty of sweets, until they use a spell to get themselves back home. Was it all a dream or did it happen for real? Despite some quality issues, this is an animated story worth sharing with kids.
- Read to Me and Read to Myself options
- Available in English and Hebrew
- Animated illustrations/li>
- Audio narration
When kids first open the app, they’ll see the main screen. This screen is a bit busy, but contains clear icons that lead them to the beginning of the story. They also have the option to choose the language. The story is available in both English and Hebrew. Other icons lead to the about section, which includes short notes from the author and illustrator. Once in the story, kids can opt to read the story on their own or listen to the narrator. The narration starts automatically, but kids can switch it off by hitting the microphone button. However, they should make sure the page is fully loaded or there will be a bit of lag before the app responds.
While the quality of the narration and the text is good, the app does have a few issues. Pages can be a bit slow to load and, if kids are too active on a page, the narration may restart. On some pages, if kids start tapping around before the page is fully loaded, the image will zoom in, causing the text to enlarge and become unreadable. Kids who want to read the actual text of the story will have to continually bring the text up on the screen which blocks the illustrations.
As kids work their way through the story, they must choose between looking at the text and looking at the illustrations. Each page features a large block of text that covers the entire illustration. Kids can read along with the text as the narrator speaks or simply listen to the narrator as they look at the illustration. The app would be improved if both the text and the illustrations appeared on the screen at the same time. It would also benefit from short chunks of text as it may be difficult for younger children to follow along.
The story itself is cute and the narration is strong with a clear distinction between dialogue and the rest of the text. Some of the rhymes in the text are a bit forced, but kids are more likely to find themselves immersed in the sweet city they discover inside the whale.
While the app offers animated illustrations, the animations are somewhat limited. Hand icons indicate where kids can tap on the screen. However, interacting with the illustrations too much during the narration can take away from the story and, occasionally, cause the narration on the page to restart. Little kids will enjoy interacting with the story, but older kids may want to focus more on the entertainment aspect of the story itself. It’s a pretty zany story set in a fun imaginary world that kids may wish they could visit themselves.
Leviatopia is priced comparably to other interactive ebooks. It offers a quality story with audio narration and slightly animated illustrations just like other ebooks offered in the same price range. However, it does have a few limitations that may not make it a parent or teacher’s first choice for a download.
The app is free from adds, in-app purchases, and other content that is not child friendly. The opening screen includes icons for Twitter and Facebook, but the icons are not connected to active links. Instead, users are encouraged to search for the app’s accounts on those sites. Kids will find that the app is easy to navigate and use and, aside from a couple credit screens, the app is entirely focused on the story being told.
- NO external links
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- NO in-app purchase
Leviatopia takes kids on a journey to a city in the belly of a whale. Is it a real place or it is just a dream?