Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow App Poster Image
Kids take active role in impressive interactive adventure.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and see how dialogue enhances the story and how characters develop. They'll work on patterns, memory, colors, and counting in the different rooms they encounter. They can read along as the highlighted text is read aloud to them, or they can read it on their own without narration, improving their reading skills. The engaging, interactive story will get kids excited about reading for enjoyment, and they'll develop problem-solving skills as well. Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow is rich with engaging learning opportunities.

Ease of Play

Interactive book requires quite a bit of interaction from the reader and offers flashing blue dots and arrows to guide the way and verbal reminders if kids don't catch on quickly. Kids will have to follow the instructions to advance through the book.

Violence & Scariness

As in the classic fairy tale, the angry giant chases Jack. Jack escapes and cuts down the beanstalk with the giant on it. No actual violence is shown, but the giant is angry-looking and -sounding, and Jack is frightened.

Sexy Stuff

Links to other Nosy Crow apps are hidden behind a passcode-protected parent area.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow includes all the drama and characters from the classic tale -- including an angry giant who chases Jack through the castle and down the beanstalk, threatening to eat him for dinner. The giant never actually manages to catch Jack, though, and Jack eventually makes it home to his mother. This is truly an interactive adventure and what kids help Jack collect throughout the story determines how much Jack and his mom have at the end of the story. The interactive elements go beyond other interactive books, and kids have a lot to do, making this a book less suited as a bedtime story and more as an in-depth adventure that will take some time to play through. The interactive adventure will even appeal to independent readers who may usually consider themselves too old for fairytales.

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What's it about?

It's the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but in this interactive adventure, readers play the role of Jack. Kids can read the story on their own or have the words read to them, but they have to interact on every page. Rather than all the words appearing on the page, kids interact, tapping the characters to hear the dialogue and guide Jack through the castle, collecting different treasures. Once home, Jack and his mom live happily ever after -- with different luxuries depending on the treasures collected.

Is it any good?

Interactive books are really fun for readers, but JACK AND THE BEANSTALK BY NOSY CROW goes beyond interactive book into interactive adventure with some really impressive uses of technology. The scene with the broken mirror is pretty amazing -- kids will see their own faces reflected in the broken pieces, through the device's camera, and they'll see their full reflection when they've put the mirror back together. The interactive activities are fun, challenging, and educational, and the story is exciting enough to make for a really fun experience for older kids reading on their own as well as younger kids. Several of the activities may even be a bit too challenging for little ones, but that's fine because they don't have to solve every part of the story or even collect the treasure. The ending changes based on how much of the treasure kids collect, which is really cool and will keep kids going back to the story to replay and create different endings.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Even after kids have played through the entire story, encourage them to try again and see how collecting the giant's treasures impacts the ending.

  • Read other versions of the classic story together and talk about what is similar and what is different.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to read

Themes & Topics

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