Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Toy Story Read-Along App

Toy Story Read-Along App

Spring 2011 Mobile Apps
Ages: All Ages
Developer: Disney Publishing Worldwide
Platform: iPad

I've used and reviewed many different book apps for children and have mostly been wary of them. The idea of kids being introduced to books on gadgets, instead of paper, seems off-putting. The Toy Story Read-Along app for iPad, however, is delightful. A key reason is the narration, it's fantastic. Dialogue is spoken by the Toy Story characters and the soundtrack adds realistic background noises -- footsteps, the muddled sounds of toys talking through Walkie Talkies, murmurs. It's completely engaging. And parents or readers or siblings can record the story in their own voice, too.

Different scenes available as coloring pages that can be emailed or saved, and two charming games provide a nice diversion. The games, Parachute Drop and Toy Barn Maze, can be played in Easy, Normal or Hard mode and coloring pages can be easily erased (by shaking the screen Etch A Sketch style) and re-colored. Words are highlighted as they're read and readers can touch any word to hear it pronounced. Pages are easy to turn, which is important for younger readers.

Although the story is well known, my children and I both found this app entertaining.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

Look for this product at:
Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.

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