My Little Pony Party of One

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
My Little Pony Party of One App Poster Image
Friendship-themed storybook "reads" like a TV show.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn new vocabulary and improve reading skills as they read along with the storybook app. In the read-aloud options, words are highlighted as they're read so kids can follow along. In the "Read It Myself" option, kids can tap the "round up" word that's highlighted to hear it read aloud, but no other words are read aloud. The learning words include some advanced vocabulary, such as "celebrate," and kids are shown a picture of the word, hear it aloud, and see it written. The high-interest characters in My Little Pony Party of One may motivate fans to read and learn some new vocabulary. 

Ease of Play

Kids can choose to read the story themselves, have it read to them, or watch it on autoplay. Navigation and interactive elements are intuitive.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The storybook app features the heavily marketed My Little Pony line of toys and movies and is based on an episode of the television show. A logo link to other apps appears on the start page; you'll have to enter an adult's birth year to make a purchase or watch the trailer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Little Pony Party of One is an interactive storybook app based on an episode of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. The sweet story features Pinkie Pie, who enjoys planning parties so much that she wants to throw an after-birthday party for her pet, Gummy, the toothless crocodile. The problem is that the rest of the ponies are planning a surprise party for her at the same time. She gets her feelings hurt because no one can come to Gummy's party and wonders why her friends are acting strangely but goes ahead with the party anyway. Rainbow Dash does call her behavior "weird" and eventually physically pushes her into the barn where her surprise party is waiting. Of course, Pinkie Pie is thrilled and declares her friends the best friends ever and learns that she should "always expect the best from your friends and never assume the worst."

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What's it about?

Kids can choose from three reading options. In Read to Me, the words are read aloud and highlighted, but kids must tap to turn the page and tap the white-highlighted characters to activate interaction. In Read It Myself, words aren't read aloud, and kids tap to advance and see interactions. In Auto Play, words are highlighted as they're read, pages advance automatically, and interactive features are automatic. A navigation bar at the top pulls out to show each page and a Word Round Up, where kids can review sight words featured in the story.

Is it any good?

My Little Pony fans will enjoy the interactive book, and the voice-overs and graphics are well-done. As a book, though, it falls a bit short, delivering as much, if not more, of the story through the unwritten dialogue in the interactions as in the written read-along parts. Navigating page to page is easy for kids, and having three reading options is nice. The sight words included in the Word Round Up are pretty advanced for the age that might be interested in the story, including words such as "invitation" and "balloon." The message is nothing stellar, either -- to always expect the best from friends -- which is a nice idea but may not be wise for all peer situations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between surprises and keeping secrets. Surprises are fun, and it's OK to keep a surprise from someone, such as a party or a present, if they'll find out about it soon. Secrets, or things someone tells kids they should never share, are not a good idea.

  • Ask kids about their favorite parts of a party. If they were planning a party, what would it be like?

App details

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