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Gimble the Happy Tree Frog

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Gimble the Happy Tree Frog App Poster Image
Sweet story seamlessly integrates complex math concepts.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic math, like counting and tallying. They'll also be introduced to more complex math such as fractions, multiplication, and unit placement. These concepts are well integrated in the story, but parents may want to help the learning process by providing some scaffolding.

Ease of Play

Use is mostly simple and straightforward though navigation and animation controls could be a bit more smoothly integrated.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gimble the Happy Tree Frog is an interactive digital storybook that incorporates math concepts. Gimble decides to throw a pizza party to cheer up his friend Franco the Fox. Interactive elements ask kids to use math to help Gimble plan the party and buy the pizza. On each page, kids can choose to read themselves or be read to. Through the story kids get practice with and exposure to some complex math concepts, which may end up going right over their heads. Parents might want to be available to provide scaffolding if necessary. The parent's section includes an option to reset the app so kids can start over again from the beginning. 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?

Tap the little green forward-facing arrow to turn the page on start reading GIMBLE THE HAPPY TREE FROG. The story begins with Gimble finding out that his friend Franco the Fox is sad. Gimble decides to throw Franco a surprise pizza party to cheer him up. Kids help Gimble tally the number of guests, calculate how many pizzas he'll need to buy, and how much the pizzas will cost. In doing so, kids work with counting, fractions, and addition. On each page, kids can read the words on their own. Or they can tap on the read aloud icon or on the words themselves to hear them read out loud. Some pages also have hidden animations.

Is it any good?

This sweet eBook gets kids engaged in using math in a creative, baked-in way. As Gimble works on planning his friend's surprise pizza party, kids find themselves counting and tallying the number of guests, working with fractions to determine how many pizzas to buy, and more. The math works well in the story and should easily engage kids who love math as well as kids who don't. Some of the math concepts are a bit complex and with no explanation or scaffolding, kids may guess the right answer (or get there by trial and error) without really understanding what they're doing. Through the narrative and graphics are right on for the target age range, the developer's could have done without the non math-related interactive animations. Kids can tap on some pages to see a little animation. But, not all pages have an animation, and it's not obvious which ones have it and which don't, so it can be quite distracting. It also feels a bit awkward to advance pages with an arrow icon on the side of the screen. However, overall, Gimble the Happy Tree Frog offers a nice integration of math concepts in an engaging story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the math concepts introduced in Gimble the Happy Tree Frog. Help kids count as they tally, explain the fractions, and provide some background on units and multiplication while kids figure out how much money they'll need to pay for the pizzas.

  • Help your kids find math all around them in their daily lives. Divide crackers so that everyone has an equal number, cut a cookie into quarters to share, or figure out how much money you'll need to buy something at the store.

  • Families can talk about rules around screen use and using devices in balance with other activities.

App details

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