Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles

App review by
Cynthia Chiong, Common Sense Media
Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles App Poster Image
Dr. Seuss characters combine fun story with science facts.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about science in Ice Is Nice! The Cat in the Hat and his friends take kids on a journey from North Pole to South Pole, and along the way they explain how animals like polar bears and foxes can survive the weather and each other, how the seasons change depending on where the sun and Earth are, and even a bit about climate change. Through the linked dictionary, kids can also learn new science-concept words like "camouflage" and new insect names like the midge fly. Ice Is Nice! does a great job incorporating literacy-focused features into a science-themed book.

Ease of Play

The book is easy to navigate. For the first read through, the app gives prompts to show which interactive features are available. The app has two reading modes: Read to Me and Read It Myself. However, there is no index so readers cannot choose where to start.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles is an informational book about science featuring Dr. Seuss characters; it's part of the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library Series. In it, the Cat in the Hat takes Sally and Dick on a journey around the world to the North and South Poles. There they learn about the native animals and people and how they are affected by the changing weather. There are interactive features such as a linked dictionary, text highlighting, and light animation. With 48 pages, parents might welcome the professional narration option. 

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What's it about?

In Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles, kids can learn about different environments, how the Earth orbits the sun, and other science-related facts in a fun story with the Cat in the Hat and his friends. On each page, kids can follow along with the text, tap pictures, and learn new vocabulary. Some of the illustrations are lightly animated, and a few are more interactive, like being able to push a car around. Ice Is Nice! is a fairly long book that kids can learn loads from.

Is it any good?

Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles is a good educational book app for kids. The topic is science-themed, and the interactive features are literacy-focused. The text is pretty much factual with a little rhyming to make it more kid-friendly. The harder words like "glacier" and "adaptation" are in bold and linked to the dictionary. So if you tap on the word, the definition pops-up. While the definitions themselves could be more kid-friendly, they get the point across and are good starters for parents to elaborate on and continue the conversation.

Ice Is Nice! lacks some of the wit and silliness of the original Dr. Seuss books with these same characters, but it's still an enjoyable read where the focus is on learning.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Read the story together and go through the vocabulary and definitions.

  • Use note cards or paper to make a science-themed word wall. Have kid write new words they learned from the book on the cards and post them. Can they use any of the words in their daily life?

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