A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
It's very easy to control the storybook. And the bonus mini-games are quite simple to use as well.
Products & Purchases
Kids can buy a Jingle doll, an electronically enhanced plush toy of the dog in the story, at brick-and-mortar Hallmark stores. The toy dog will interact with the app story as it is played. The app begins by telling users that if they don't have a Jingle toy, they can still sit back and enjoy the story, but the entire app was created around the dog doll, the image of which is used in the photographic illustrations of the story.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jingle All the Way is a storybook app that was created to be used in conjunction with a special interactive toy sold by Hallmark stores. The plush dog toy will bark and howl at certain points in the story if it is nearby while the app is being used. The doll is in no way necessary to enjoy the app, but the app does make a good pitch for buying the toy. Outside of that, there's nothing likely to be considered objectionable or problematic in the app.
Is It Any Good?
As an app unto itself, JINGLE ALL THE WAY is a cute and likable storybook with some fun bonus features (a nice selection of jigsaw puzzles and a playable xylophone that lets out dog barks instead of the regular tinny bong-bong tones of such an instrument). The story is a simple but child-pleasing one, about a stray dog that befriends a class of children outside a school (and is eventually adopted by one student). It's illustrated with lovely posed-toy photographs reminiscent of the old holiday specials of the sixties. But the app does contain a bona fide commercial for a toy that's meant to interact with that very app -- something that definitely needs to be kept in mind before downloading.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.