Read Me Stories - Children's books

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Read Me Stories - Children's books App Poster Image
Original stories have good reading support but ho-hum plots.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to make reading a part of their daily routine. They'll practice the mechanics of reading as they follow along in the text while listening to the narrator read aloud or try reading themselves. One book a day may encourage kids to come back day after day to find what's waiting for them, which may help make reading a habit. Some story lines are more successful than others in tapping into what makes kids love reading. Because the reading support options are strong, Read Me Stories - Children's books does have some learning value, but the quality of the content could be better.

Ease of Play

To get through a book, kids have to do a lot of tapping on arrows, which sometimes gets tedious. At the end of each book, the app locks up and kids can't continue without the help of a grown-up.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

There's some body humor in at least one book in which a dog belches loudly multiple times.

Consumerism

Only limited content is available for free. The vast majority of books are available as in-app purchases that are heavily advertised at the conclusion of each story.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Read Me Stories - Children's books is a library of ebooks and songs. Kids can choose to read on their own or be read to. Narration includes sound effects, and some books also have a few interactive features. The free version includes some books and samples of other series available as in-app purchases. It can be hard to use the app if you don't purchase any books, though sometimes book series are magically "gifted" to users. One new book becomes available each day. For more information about the information that's collected and shared, read the app's privacy policy.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

READ ME STORIES - CHILDREN'S BOOKS is a collection of original digital storybooks. Books are categorized into various series' such as Tales of Adventure, Animals, and an ongoing fantasy saga about a pony named Tuffy. Kids can read on their own or be read to, and if kids choose to listen, words are highlighted so they can follow along. Some books also have a few simple interactive features. Every day kids open the app, a new book unlocks (though parents can also manually unlock books). Some series of books are free, and others include one preview book with the rest available for purchase.

Is it any good?

This digital library may get kids to read a book a day, but what they're reading is more filler than enrichment. It has great reading support, and high-quality narration, music, and sound effects make the stories come alive. Unfortunately, the stories themselves disappoint. The language, vocabulary, and dialogue are mediocre, and the story lines are uninspired (with a possible exception for the Tuffy series, which is somewhat silly in its approach to fantasy but does manage to hold interest). And though nothing is inappropriate, some aspects are downright objectionable: One of the only female characters speaks in a Valley girl accent and talks about her make-up getting ruined -- not only limiting but doesn't fit the target age. Above all, navigation can be tricky and frustrating because there are no exit buttons once you're in a story; at the end of each story, kids must get a grown-up to unblock the screen; and there's lots of content that's tantalizingly visible but only available through purchasing. Read Me Stories - Children's books may be worth a look for the limited free content, but there are better pay options out there.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between reading a digital book and reading a hard-copy paperbook. Do kids like one more than the other? What can each do that the other can’t?

  • Use stories as conversation starter to get to know your kid better or to encourage creativity. Ask them about what kinds of stories they like most and why. How would you continue this story if you were writing it? What do you think could happen next?

App details

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For kids who love books and reading

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