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Little Bird Tales: Storytelling Made Easy

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Little Bird Tales: Storytelling Made Easy App Poster Image
Kids may need help to take off with fun book-creation tool.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn creative expression by telling their own stories. With guidance, kids can also explore elements of storytelling like plot, characters, setting, and more.

Ease of Play

It will take some practice to figure out how to use the different tools.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A paid account offers premium features.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Little Bird Tales gives kids the tools to create digital storybooks. This app is a companion to a Little Bird Tales website and one account, for which parents provide an email address and a password, allows access to both. The free download lets kids create books with a limited amount of storage space. A premium account can be purchased on the website and offers extra features. Every time kids open the app, they are asked for log in credentials, but they can use the creation tools without logging in if they tap "skip." App navigation isn't immediately obvious and kids may need support while learning how to use all the tools. Kids can add photos and sound to their books but will need to grant access to the device's camera, camera roll, and microphone to do so. The website is geared towards use in a classroom but is adaptable enough for home use. Kids can decide to share their story with the Little Story Bird community; all stories go through an approval process before being published on the Little Bird Tales website. Through their web account, parents can also download the stories in MP4 or pdf format. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Sign in with an email address and password, or tap skip to get started with LITTLE BIRD TALES: STORYTELLING MADE EASY. Once in, kids start creating a book. On each page, kids can use drawing tools, add a photograph, write text, or record their voice. Continue adding more pages until the story is done. Tap play to read the book from start to finish. When linked to web account, users can transfer books or lessons from app to web and vice versa. Lessons give kids a template and guidance for how to create a particular story.

Is it any good?

Kids' creativity takes center stage -- that is, if they're able to maneuver through the less-than-intuitive navigation and controls for this open-ended creation tool. Little Bird Tales as a website was clearly made for teachers, but that doesn't mean that families can't use it at home. The book-creation tool itself is just as relevant for home use as it is for classroom use, even if parents will need to help kids learn how to use it. That said, the Little Bird Tales: Storytelling Made Easy app feels like an afterthought addition to the website and as a whole. It's just not user-friendly. For instance, it's really unclear what the difference is between signing in and not signing in, and there doesn't seem to be any home page or much general organization around how the app is structured. Luckily, once in the book creation mode, things do get a bit clearer. As long as kids learn what's available and how to use the different tools, they should be able to create their books without too much trouble. And from there, the sky's the limits as kids can draw, write, take photos, and record their voice to tell a story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the stories kids create with Little Bird Tales: Storytelling Made Easy. What do kids want to tell? Is it going to be a fantasy or a recounting of something that happened to them? Who will be in the story?

  • Look over the lesson plans in the web version of Little Bird Tales for suggestions on how to guide storytelling. Help kids learn about basic elements like character, plot and a story arc (beginning, middle, end).

  • Have a family theater night. Everyone in the family can create one or more stories, then grab some popcorn and settle on the couch to watch everyone's grand premiere!

  • Help create a love of storytelling and spark kids' imaginations by reading lots of books or attending puppet shows or kids' theater performances.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: presenting to others, spelling, storytelling, writing
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
    Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression
    Tech Skills: digital creation
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (premium features available for $9.99)
  • Release date: April 3, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 11.70 MB
  • Publisher: Mike Klem
  • Version: 2.0.10
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later

For kids who love storytelling and creativity

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