My WonderBooks

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
My WonderBooks App Poster Image
Multilingual library, lovely visuals for classic kids' lit.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn an appreciation for classic fables, fairy tales, and literature. As they enter these magical or imaginative worlds, kids may develop a love for stories and reading. Kids can gain familiarity with stories from a variety of cultures. With six languages to choose from, kids also have the option to listen to stories in more than one language, which may help them learn a new language.

Ease of Play

Navigation is easy. However, the developer describes some features that don't seem to work.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My WonderBooks is a collection of classic fairy tales, fables, and stories with illustrations and narration. At the time of review, there were 50 stories, ranging from "Cinderella to" "The Lion and the Mouse" to Oliver Twist. All stories are available in six languages: English, Arabic, French, Russian, German, and Spanish. The default language for all the stories seems to be Arabic; to choose a different language, you simply tap "choose language" and tap the language you want. Once you've chosen your language, you need to download it. At any point in each story, kids can tap the share button to directly access the device's sharing options and send out a page of the story. At the time of this review, only the "read to me" option worked, and an instant-translation function wasn't available. There's a registration option for which parents need to provide their name and email address, but it's not clear what benefits come with registration. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

MY WONDERBOOKS is a collection of illustrated classic kids' fiction. Fifty titles -- and more on the way -- are available in six languages. Kids follow the text as a real native speaker reads the story, or they can listen like it's an audiobook. Sharing options allow kids to send pages of the story to friends and family. Kids also can create libraries of favorite books and complete short multiple-choice quizzes to check comprehension.

Is it any good?

An eclectic collection of classic kids' literature has beautiful illustrations and good narration, even if the app's organization and navigation functions aren't super. The stories featured in My WonderBooks have been delighting kids for generations and are a good base for kids to build a solid literature foundation. Some stories are faithfully retold, and others are greatly edited and adjusted. Imagine telling Oliver Twist in 10 short pages, for instance. It's particularly interesting that kids can listen to the stories in high-quality narration from a variety of languages. However, it would be nice if the developer's promise of individual word translation within the story actually worked, as it could be a really neat feature for kids working on learning a new language. There are only a few things missing or that don't make sense. Other than gaining access to the quizzes, it's unclear what you gain upon registering, for instance. And it would be nice to have some more navigation features within the stories, such as choosing particular pages or choosing between "read to me" or "read on my own." At the time of this review, the app was entirely free, though it seems to be set up for a pay structure being introduced in the future. As it is, My WonderBooks gives solid, faithful treatment to a classic story collection.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the stories featured in My WonderBooks. Read together and ask which stories your kids like best and why.

  • Many classic stories and fables have a moral. Talk to your kids about what they learned from this story. What's the message?

  • Read books with your kids as much as you can. And let them see you reading your own books. Visit the library or bookstores often to find new books. Continue reading to your kids even after they've learned to read on their own.

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