Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books App Poster Image
Add music, sound effects to story time for enhanced reading.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about magic of reading. Music and sound effects help bring stories alive and may encourage kids to appreciate reading. Kids can practice reading themselves to see how the audio reacts to their voice.

Ease of Play

It's easy to browse the library, then simply tap play and start reading.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Some books include links to ebooks for purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books provides background music and sound effects as parents read hard-copy books to their kids. Parents must sign in with their Facebook account or email to get started. The library includes a few select titles available as free ebooks, and others can be purchased as ebooks, but for the majority of the stories, families need to have their hands on the hard copy version of the book. There are many classic, well-known kids' books available, as well as some lesser-known titles. Parents must allow the app to access their device's microphone, and can also opt in or out to send their audio data to the developer to help them fine-tune their voice recognition software. There's also an option to play the audio through an Apple TV. 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLoves-to-read March 20, 2019

Wow! One of the best apps I've ever seen

The beauty of the novel effect app is the way it empowers parents to engage and inspire kids with a good ole fashion print book. I've never seen anything l... Continue reading

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What's it about?

Create an account with an email address or your Facebook account to access NOVEL EFFECTS: READ ALOUD BOOKS' library. Browse titles by theme, or search for a particular title, to choose books that you have print copies of or own as an ebook. Download your choices and tap play to start reading. As you read, voice recognition software matches music and light sound effects to what's going on in the story. Mark your favorites for easy reference, or access a list of the books you've read recently.

Is it any good?

High-quality sound effects easily enhance the excitement of reading many beloved kids' books. Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books is a unique approach to adding a little something special to story time. The mood of the music nicely matches the overall feel of the story. And at select points, there are some fun sound effects, like a sneeze, when Peter Rabbit says "kerchoo," or monkey vocalizations when the peddler tries to get his caps back in Caps for Sale. With over 200 books, and more added regularly, there's a great selection of highly popular titles, including Mo Willem's Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the classic Goodnight Moon. Families that don't have a well-stocked home library will need to buy electronic versions of some of the titles or rely on their local library. Voice-recognition software works pretty well, though it can take a little time to catch up if there's lots of jumping around. The music and sound effects add a nice touch, creating some extra magic around reading. And it's nice to be able to put the screen away while parents and kids have a meaningful experience together (though the screen is still there, and must be relatively close by while you read). Some families may feel that reading is magical enough and that music and sound effects are superfluous at best, and just another way to insert technology into family interactions at worst. That said, Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books could be a nice tool to break out for some special family fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books adds to the experience of reading. Does hearing music and sound effects make reading more fun? Why or why not?

  • Visit the library to find books to match the available audio tracks and read some new stories. What are your favorite types of stories? Why?

  • Let kids read aloud themselves and have fun hearing the sound effects match up with what they're reading. Have fun making your own sound effects as you read together.

App details

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