Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic

Common Sense Media says

Excellent interactive early phonics storybook.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very intuitive to use. There are four levels, but it ramps up very quickly. It is possible to change the settings so the app stays on only one of the four levels, giving kids a chance to master one level before moving on. It remembers which pages and levels have been completed, so you can always quit the app and come back later to continue where you left off.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Several links (on the main page, on the About screen, and in the settings) will take you to websites such as Amazon.com, the developer's website, and the Bob Books website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic is an educational experience that will gently teach young kids early phonics by teaching the sounds that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. The developers take a classic phonics book and turn it into an app. The app successfully replicates the book series' step-by-step phonics instruction by providing four levels with the same sentences. When kids have successfully matched the letters to the words (Level 1) or spelled out the words by choosing the correct letters among many other letters (Level 4), that object gets filled in with color. When kids have completed the sentence, the whole scene comes alive. An HD version is also available in iTunes.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

An excellent introduction to phonics for young children. Will keep kids' interest as they read and reread each page. Artwork is simple but added elements of color and animation are well done and attractive.

Learning Approach

Although repetition of the same sentences throughout the four levels may not sound exciting, it can help kids learn not only those specific words and sentences faster but also the process of sounding out words.

Support

It is possible to change the settings so the app stays on only one of the four levels, giving kids a chance to master one level.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Kids can learn to build their reading skills with Bob Books #1 Reading Magic. The app is designed to take kids from letter and letter-sound recognition to being able to spell and sound out short words on their own. Using the same 12 sentences in four levels that progressively get harder lets kids directly build on their knowledge as they go through each level. While the words taught here are limited, the letters and their sounds are the basis of many other words. Bob Books #1 Reading Magic does a very good job providing the basics for learning phonics and how to read. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

In Bob Books #1 Reading Magic, kids drag the letters for the given word to the proper place below the picture, while the app sounds out the letters and reads the word aloud. Their efforts are rewarded when the black-and-white screen transforms to color and the drawings become animated. There are twelve pages and each one has four levels. You can customize the settings to suit your kid's current phonics knowledge and reading level.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

BOB BOOKS #1 - READING MAGIC is an excellent introduction to phonics for young children, or a nice companion to the printed Bob Books (a systematic method of teaching kids to read). Since you can either control the difficulty level or set it to Automatic, this app will grow with your learning child, and keep their interest as they read and re-read the sentences on each page. The artwork is simple, just as in the printed Bob Books, but the added elements of color and animation are well done and attractive.

Families can talk about...

  • Read with your kids daily.

  • Stock up on variety of reading materials for kids, including phonics readers and traditional storybooks. Keep them where kids can access them easily.

  • Sound out and spell everyday words together.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Release date:June 29, 2012
Category:Education
Size:43.80 MB
Publisher:Learning Touch
Version:2.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5, 6, and 14 year old Written bylovinlifeat40 December 2, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

LOVE Bob Books! Just downloaded this app. for my Kindergartner, perfect!

Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 16, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

bob books 1 reading magic

well done and attractive.

What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 1 and 3 year old Written byhaukeg November 26, 2012
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Consistent with books, but little better in electronic form

We have the Bob series of paperback books for our 3-1/2 year old daughter and thought this app would be a good accelerator to add to the mix. It does a good job of staying true to the book's simple structure and repetitive approach of showing kids reading pattens. However the structure of the app itself is the slight hindrance in our experience:

The app is structured into 4 levels, effectively a progression through the concepts at different difficulty levels. In the first level kids are expected to spell out simple words (like Sam, cat, etc.) by moving tiles onto letter spaces in any order you want (i.e. placing "m" at the end of "Sam" - then "S" - in any order you want).

But because the app doesn't have a well designed progression model, we found our daughter would jump ahead too easily and effectively survive with a "trial & error" approach. The harder levels are the same as described above, however you have to do them in logical order. There is such little difference in the experience that to our daughter it just seemed like the app wasn't working when she tried to place the last letter at the end of a word and it would jump away from the answer spaces. Often times I couldn't tell why it was doing that until I looked deeper into the structure of the app. So in the end, she would resort to just trial and error until she got through it which makes me think she isn't learning as effectively as could be done with better direction or expiation by the app.

For a better example of an app with better progressive design, we found Reading Raven apps to be a little better.

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