App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Caribu App Poster Image
Read storybooks face-to-face, even when far apart.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Listening, reading, storytelling, letter/word recognition, using and applying technology.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Very limited trial features. Subscribers get points for referring friends and family.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Caribu is a subscription-based storybook app that includes in-app video calling for shared reading experiences. Described as "FaceTime meets Kindle," Caribu's library includes hundreds of books and workbooks for $6.99/month (at the time of writing, it's free for active-duty military service members). The available books are categorized by age, character, topic, or publisher, and some are available in languages other than English, including Spanish, French, and Chinese. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

To use CARIBU, first tap Free Trial, create an account, and then tap Invite Family and enter the email addresses of the family members you want to share with. When you want to share a book with a kid, call the child via the app. The kid's image appears in the corner of the screen, and your image appears on his or her screen. Either user can choose a book and turn pages. 

Is it any good?

This book library and video call app is a gift for parents, grandparents, and others who want to read to kids from afar. Caribu is an excellent way for kids and their loved ones to connect over a good book and get to see each other in real time while doing so. With selections for kids age 0 to 7, finding books is easy in the well-organized library, so users can narrow choices to the ones individual kids will enjoy most. That Caribu gives free subscriptions to active-duty military families is also a feather in its cap.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the wide selection of books on Caribu. Consider taking turns with your child when choosing what to read (and read Common Sense Media's Should I Choose My Kid's Books or Let Her Choose Them?).

  • Talk about presenting via video. How can you (and your kid) use facial expressions, voice tones, and body language to help tell the story in a more engaging way? Set the example when it's your turn to read.

  • Check out Common Sense Media's 5 Way to Get Your Kids Hooked on Books.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, phonics, reading, storytelling
  • Skills: Communication: listening, speaking
    Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (free trial then $6.99/mo.)
  • Release date: July 11, 2018
  • Category: Books
  • Size: 69.50 MB
  • Publisher: Caribu
  • Version: 2.10.11
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

For kids who love reading and playing together

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