Kalley's Machine Plus Cats

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Kalley's Machine Plus Cats App Poster Image
Kid's art-inspired story full of engineering fun (and cats).

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn STEM concepts about engineering and machines as they explore concepts of vacuums, pressure, boilers, switches, conveyer belts, color mixing, and more. They'll develop reading skills reading along with the story as words are highlighted for them, and they may find writing inspiration learning that the story and app were based on a little girl's idea. Kids and parents will find lots to explore, discuss, and learn about imagination and engineering in Kalley's Machine Plus Cats.

Ease of Play

The interactive book is easy for kids to explore and read, whether they're hearing it read aloud or reading themselves.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kalley's Machine Plus Cats is an interactive book inspired by a drawing created by a real four-year-old, Kalley. Kalley drew a picture of a machine that would make food so her dad didn't have to leave home to commute to a new job anymore. Rather than make the machine, her dad helped her turn it into a story with impressive interactive features that demonstrate several science concepts. This storybook app invites kids to tap and explore and discover, and it's a delight for all ages.

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What's it about?

Kids can read the story, narrated by Kalley and her father, with Kalley explaining a different part of the machine she's invented on each page. A crank makes it go, and levers and dials control it. A boiler maintains the pressure, and bashers and pokers smash and poke objects that look a lot like marshmallows as they go down an assembly line. A shrinker shrinks the marshmallow objects, and an oven cooks (and sometimes burns!) them. Then kids can paint them, mixing colors using combinations of red, yellow, and blue, shape 'em, pick 'em, and present them as the machine's product: food. 

Is it any good?

Kalley's excitement about her cool machine is contagious, and her passion, even at the end of the book when her dad explains that he works for reasons beyond food, is undeterred as she exclaims, "That's OK. I'll make machines for those too!" The machine is really cool, with interactions that are fun and educational. Kids adjust dials, flip switches, and turn cranks to control the machine. Oh, and a cat is there, too, doing what cats do: watching and interacting. Options are controlled by levers and switches, letting kids choose to highlight text, read aloud, turn sound effects on or off, and even turn the cat on or off. KALLEY'S MACHINE PLUS CATS is a delightful interactive book that kids will want to read, or at least explore, over and over.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask kids what they might invent to make their worlds or lives better, just as Kalley invented the machine so her dad wouldn't have to go to work.

  • Take the time to look at some of the interactive features (cooking/burning, color mixing, gears, vacuums, pressure, and temperature) more closely and explain the concepts to kids.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love machines

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