Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Read & Play - Dr. Seuss

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Read & Play - Dr. Seuss App Poster Image
Solid reading options, OK games, abstract themes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about perseverance and overcoming obstacles while they practice reading. The built-in puzzles and games won't teach kids anything in particular, and the core message might be lost on younger readers, but those who love the book will likely love the app.

Ease of Play

Navigation is super simple, and it's fun and easy to search for hidden stars that unlock puzzles and games.

Violence & Scariness

While nothing violent happens, there are some spooky monsters and creepy imagery that some kids might find alarming.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Though you can only purchase more apps through the protected parents' section, kids can still tap the menu bar to see the developer's other Dr. Seuss apps available for purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Read & Play - Dr. Seuss is an interactive storybook version of the popular Dr. Seuss book of the same name. Kid can either read themselves or have the story read to them, and each page features activities that let kids interact with the whimsical illustrations. Parents can track their kids' reading stats through the app's settings menu. The developer's privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! - READ & PLAY - DR. SEUSS is a digital storybook version of the classic book. Kids move through the pages by tapping the right arrow, and each page features the original illustrations from the book plus a few animated features. If the app is set to "Read to Me" (which it is by default), the text is read aloud and each word is highlighted in red as the narrator reads. If kids want to read independently, they can change the reading mode and tap the printed words to hear them read aloud if they get stuck. As kids tap objects, they see and hear their names, and kids can further tap, drag, and tilt to reveal hidden stars on each page. Stars trigger mini-games such as "Sequence" and "Tap Attack" where users tap, drag, and tilt to interact with the book's especially Seussian environment. Once kids reach the end of the story, they can see how many of the hidden stars they found, and they can revisit each page to reveal more stars and more learning activities. All these features can be toggled on and off in the parents-only settings menu, and parents can track a child's progress through the Reading Stats section, which tracks minutes, pages, and books read. Parents can reset the stats, but there's no option to have multiple user accounts for multiple kids.

Is it any good?

While the reading features are strong, there's some mismatch, as this book is more often a gift for high school and college graduates, but the embedded games are all for little kids. The games and puzzles focus more on fine motor skills than on reading comprehension and seem more geared toward the early elementary set, but the story itself has few characters and focuses much more on the harsh realities of growing up. Some of the imagery can be a little scary, and some of the ideas -- that sometimes you will be alone, that sometimes you will fail -- might be a little unsettling or just too abstract for more sensitive young readers. It's not bad to talk to little ones about overcoming obstacles, but keep in mind that this story's powerful message may land best with a caring adult reading along, adding context, and making the story's broad statements a little more concrete. It's also possible kids will get lost in the games that interrupt the story, so parents may want to encourage kids to read through before going back to play the games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the best ways to use this app. Play with the "Read to Me" and "Read It Myself" settings and pick the one that best fits your child's reading level.

  • Play with the learning activities and talk about other questions the app could ask. What other things could you talk about or explore in the book?

  • This story is all about staying positive and trying hard, even when the going gets tough. Talk about an example of a tough situation such as the ones described in the book. What are some strategies for staying positive when you're feeling discouraged?

App details

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