Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow

 

Learning(i)

Kids take active role in impressive interactive adventure.

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is requested in the app, but the privacy policy on the developer's website appears to apply to the website only, not the app.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • patterns
  • counting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • thinking critically

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Really impressive use of the device's tools -- multi-touch, forward-facing camera, graphics -- makes the design first rate. Kids will have a blast working their way through the adventure and seeing how their actions impact the story.

Learning Approach

Kids are empowered to decide how they work through the story and in what order, rather than in a linear order. Even reluctant readers will be drawn in to the story, and the adventure and multiple endings will get all levels or readers returning to the text.

Support

Kids can pick up where they left off in the story adventure, or they can restart. Verbal and visual cues help kids move through the story. The blue arrow to advance to the next page has to be tapped twice to prevent accidental page advances.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • patterns
  • counting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • thinking critically

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$4.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:February 20, 2014
Category:Books
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters, Fairy tales, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Size:239.00 MB
Publisher:Nosy Crow
Version:1.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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