BPT - Educational Storybooks for Children (Preschool & Primary)

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
BPT - Educational Storybooks for Children (Preschool & Primary) App Poster Image
History, science in kid-friendly stories; spotty production.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn the stories behind a variety of important historical people, events, or world phenomena. Read about Marie Curie, Simon Bolivar, the pyramids, the animals in the African savannah, and discovering fire. Since each topic is presented as an adventure, kids can get a sense of the excitement and importance of the contributions by the people or events described. Kids also get some practice with a common testing format that they'll likely come across in school: multiple-choice questions that test reading comprehension. And, if kids read on their own, they can practice their reading skills. Though BPT - Educational Storybooks for Children (Preschool & Primary) doesn't have the production value some parents may expect, it does provide solid reading opportunities about important topics.

Ease of Play

Navigation through the app and its books is easy and straightforward.

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Language
Consumerism

The app is free to download but only includes one free book and previews of the others. Kids can get full content through a subscription or buy books individually.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BPT - Educational Storybooks for Children (Preschool & Primary) is a collection of adventure tales that recount some historic or scientific topic. For instance, kids can read about how Marie Curie became interested in science and what she discovered through an interactive storybook about her life. Kids can read the stories themselves or be read to, and there are several multiple-choice questions throughout the stories that test kids' comprehension. The free download includes one free book and previews of all the others. If kids want to read more than the preview, parents will need to either sign up for a subscription, which opens access to all content, or purchase specific books individually. All content is available in English, Spanish, and Latin American Spanish. Kids do not need to provide any personal information to play; there's nothing more than a quick note regarding privacy on the developer's website. When opening the app for the first time, it also asks for permission to send push notifications.

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What's it about?

BPT - EDUCATIONAL STORYBOOKS FOR CHILDREN (PRESCHOOL & PRIMARY) organizes its roughly 20 interactive storybooks into five categories: adventures, science, history, nature, and famous people. Kids choose stories that present topics such as Charles Lindbergh, dinosaur extinction, Nelson Mandela, and the history of the Olympic games in the form of a kid-friendly story. Kids can read themselves, be read to, or autoplay each story. Tap each page to animate the illustrations and hear sound effects. Results of multiple-choice reading-comprehension quizzes are listed in the score section.

Is it any good?

This collection's strength is using kid-friendly language to tell stories about some of the most exciting people and discoveries throughout history, but several elements diminish the overall quality. A map on the home page nicely gives kids some perspective in placing where these different people lived or events occurred. And, sometimes, well-placed comprehension checks get kids to pause and see how well they've been paying attention. Unfortunately, there are some significant downsides as well: The graphics are pretty standard cartoon stock illustrations, and some of them -- such as depictions of Africans -- might feel negative to some. The animations and sound effects don't always fit, which makes them more distracting than helpful; for example, in the story about Nelson Mandela, there's a page about segregated bathrooms and the accompanying sound is of children's laughter. Different reading options are great, though highlighting words to help kids read along would be helpful and is common in ebook collections. Since quiz questions are never read aloud, it makes them inaccessible to prereaders, and sometimes the questions and answer choices don't match what was in the story, which makes them hard to answer correctly. Though the stories cover a nice range of topics, there are disappointingly few women featured (other than Marie Curie). Parents can fully explore the free content before deciding whether it appeals to them enough to subscribe or buy individual books.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the many people and events described in the different stories. Ask kids open-ended questions about what they learned. Talk to them more about how that person or event affected society or the world.

  • Help kids research to find out more about people and events that particularly piqued their interest. What is different about the world as a result of the historical figures?

  • Have your kids read the stories out loud to practice their reading skills.

App details

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For kids who love reading and history

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