Journey Into the Deep

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Journey Into the Deep App Poster Image
Stunning pictures make kids feel like ocean explorers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the creatures that live in the depths of the sea. They'll journey into the deep in this first-person narrative, exploring the different depths of the ocean floor. Kids will read about DNA, scientific classification, biodiversity, and chemosynthesis. They'll read how shifting plates formed the ridges and vents in the ocean, discover first-hand what a career in marine biology is like, and learn about conservation efforts to protect the sea and its creatures. Journey to the Deep is an engaging, multimedia e-book that will pull kids in head first.

Ease of Play

Moving through the book's pages takes getting used to, but the introductory tips explain how to use the icons. A full table of contents is available at the beginning of the book, and the chapter titles and images can be seen from a scrollbar and icon available at the bottom and top of each page. The app is best viewed in portrait layout. Common e-book functionality (searching, highlighting, taking notes) is not included.  

Violence & Scariness

The author explains that some animals were killed in the marine census in order to be preserved and studied. There's also an image and explanation of a whale's skeleton.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Journey Into the Deep describes the Census of Marine Life with an emphasis on scientific exploration and protection of the oceans. The Census of Marine Life was started in 2000 to develop a greater understanding of the oceans. In this book app, Rebecca L. Johnson devotes one chapter to each of eight different ocean depths explored by scientists. Johnson writes in a kid-friendly first-person narrative to convey a sense of adventure. Each chapter is about 10 pages long, with a few paragraphs of text and a photo or video on each page. There's some scientific discussion of death as well as a picture of a whale's skeleton.

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What's it about?

Journey into the Deep is an eight-chapter e-book by Rebecca L. Johnson that takes kids on a first-person journey into the depths of the sea for an ocean creature census. Each page includes vivid photographs that really come to life on the iPad screen, as well as videos of marine life. Each chapter goes a bit deeper into the ocean -- from Shallow Edges to the Open Water, to the mountains of the seas, Ridges and Vents, and The Unfathomable Deep. Kids learn about DNA, scientific classification, biodiversity, and chemosynthesis. They read how shifting plates formed the ridges and vents in the ocean, discover what a career in marine biology might be like, and learn about conservation efforts to protect the sea and its creatures. The app includes a glossary, discussion questions, and links to other resources.

Is it any good?

In her introductory video on Journey Into the Deep, author Rebecca L. Johnson shares her goal: to inspire young readers with a sense of wonder about the world's oceans. This book app certainly accomplishes that task. The beautiful photography enriched by clear and compelling language conveys a sense of adventure and excitement otherwise hard to drum up for tiny, rarely seen species. The quotations and photos of scientists working on the project make the research feel real and immediate. It would be great to have more interactive elements, but overall this is an enjoyable and interesting read for any kid learning about the oceans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Take kids to an aquarium to see some of the undersea world up close.

  • Talk about the similarities between what we know and are learning about the undersea world to what we know about outer space.

App details

For kids who love science, animals

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