MeeGenius! Kid's Books

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Narrated stories from many genres; subscription a must.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is mostly easy to use, but the book player is missing some helpful functionality commonly found on similar book apps. When kids choose a book, it takes a few moments to load it to the library and open. Kids can pause narration with a red button that fades in and out of the center of each page. There's no way to interact with text or illustrations, other than by watching the highlighted words in the read-to-me option.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There are currently only a few free stories on this app; most other books are available with in-app purchases only ($4.99 monthly subscription). Some books, labeled "premium" titles, such as Dr. Seuss books, are in-app purchases for individual books. For example, Go, Dog. Go! must be purchased for $9.99. It may not be immediately clear to younger kids which books are available and which require further purchase. The monthly subscription will renew automatically unless canceled.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The MeeGenius! privacy policy indicates that it may collect personally and non-personally identifiable information, although personally identifiable information will only be requested of users age 13 or older. The sign-in parents page includes the option to sign in with Facebook or an email address.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that MeeGenius! stocks more than 400 children's fiction and nonfiction digital books with audio narration. Users can access most books by paying a monthly $4.99 subscription, as well as some "premium" books by paying for each book individually. Download the app for free and you'll get a few free books to try, but subscribing or buying books is a must for this app to be enjoyable for more than one session. Select books categorized in many ways: subject (fables, animals, and holidays, for example), featured books, MeeGenius! originals (age 3–5 and 6–8), and more. Books also are searchable by author or title. The "read-along technology" highlights each word while a narrator reads the story aloud. There's a read-to-myself option, too, in which narration is turned off. Parents should know that the books include text, audio, and illustrations, but there is no interactivity or animation beyond highlighted text.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • vocabulary

Science

  • animals

Social Studies

  • historical figures
  • history

Skills

Communication

  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

With more than 400 books in dozens of fiction and nonfiction categories -- from poetry and sports to action and animals -- most kids' interests will be covered. However, the books don't include interactive elements within stories.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn by selecting books from various fiction and nonfiction categories. They also can watch as words are highlighted along with the narrator's voice, which may boost reading and vocabulary skills. 

Support

Not much instruction beyond how to turn pages and pause narration. Each book downloaded is featured on a My Books page.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • vocabulary

Science

  • animals

Social Studies

  • historical figures
  • history

Skills

Communication

  • listening

Kids can learn about a variety of subjects across lots of genres by reading or listening to many of the more than 400 books on MeeGenius!. Specific learning categories include math, Spanish, social skills, and more. Some also are categorized by age (3–5 or 6–8), which may help emerging readers identify books that best fit their reading levels. By listening to the narrator read and watching the highlighted words track the narrator's voice, kids may improve reading skills and reading speed, as well as increase their subject-specific vocabulary. MeeGenius! is a simple digital library without a ton of interaction, but it's a solid resource for early readers. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Visit the MEEGENIUS! library and select a book from dozens of categories. Tap on a book cover, then tap "Read and Add to My Books." Wait for the download to complete, then choose "Read it to me" or "Read it to myself." Swipe to turn pages. If book is paused, press the red pause/play button that fades in and out of the center of the page to restart. Tap "My Books" to access the books you've already read. This is a well-stocked children's bookstore with many good selections.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

MEEGENIUS! is a nice app on which to buy and read colorful stories for kids who are prereaders or new to reading. The app may be free, but most of the books aren't. A monthly subscription or individual book purchase is required for access to most books, which cost about the same as most other storybook apps but don't include interactivity.

The "read-along technology" may work better on some books than others. The books previewed for this review were read rather quickly and had quite a bit of text on many pages of the story, so the little yellow highlighted box that jumped from word to word was more of a distraction than a help in reading.

Families can talk about...

  • Read all the available genre titles to your kid and discuss which ones they'd like to explore, some that are new to them, and others that may not immediately be of interest. 

  • If your kid is having difficulties with a certain math skill, friendship struggles, or struggles with another social skill (such as manners), browse this app's library for related books.

  • Explain to your kid that, even if you have a subscription, some books may require further purchase, so they know ahead of time which ones may be off-limits (unless a parent chooses to buy them).

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:March 8, 2014
Category:Books
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Numbers and letters, Science and nature, Wild animals
Size:33.70 MB
Publisher:MeeGenius!
Version:6.0.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later

This review of MeeGenius! Kid's Books 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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