Rooftops Interactive Book

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Rooftops Interactive Book App Poster Image
Heavy-handed screen time message with a magical resolution.

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice their reading skills by reading along with the story.

Ease of Play

Navigation is easy, but young kids may need help getting started.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rooftops Interactive Book is an ebook about a young boy who spends too much time on his tablet. Kids (or parents) can read the text aloud (no text highlights) or kids can read to themselves, but little ones may need help getting started. The sentences are also complex for new readers. 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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What's it about?

ROOFTOPS INTERACTIVE BOOK tells the story of Kevin, a young boy who lives in a high-rise apartment in the city. Kevin's favorite thing to do is sit in his bedroom and "Tap. Swipe. Tap. Tap. Swipe." on his tablet. But when he doesn't do his homework, his mom takes away his tablet for two days. Kevin is bored, but when he looks out his window, he starts to see strange things. The strange things eventually draw him outside with his parents where he finds some other surprises. Kids can read to themselves or have the story read aloud. There are a few interactive pages which kids can access directly from the main menu.

Is it any good?

This preachy tale about a boy with too much screen time resolves in a highly unexpected way; instead of learning what great things exist out in the world, he's drawn out by magical phenomena. Rooftops Interactive Book has a message that many parents would like to convey: Too much screen time can keep you from doing what needs to be done and engaging with the world around you. But the first thing parents will likely notice is that Kevin's parents don't seem do anything to help him set healthy habits until he stops doing his homework, at which point they take away the tablet entirely. And since Kevin is young enough that his parents still take him to the park, it's a missed opportunity to model the kind of guidance a parent can give around screens. What happens next is interesting, but ultimately disappointing: He sees strange things happening outside his window (a chimney sneezing, some dancing fairies...) and wants to go outside to investigate. He learns that other kids have seen the same strange things and they all seem to bond over the experience and become friends. We never learn what's behind the magic. The story can't seem to decide whether it's a cautionary tale or a fantasy adventure, and the message of balance gets a bit lost. On a positive note, it's an unexpected twist that will get kids' attention, but the metaphor of how "magical" things can happen outside will get lost on most kids. Rooftops Interactive Book has some cute illustrations and kids may be intrigued by the magical components. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem to all come together. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen use to help transfer the intended message of Rooftops Interactive Book. How much time is OK in your family? When is it OK to use devices, and when are devices off-limits?

  • Talk about hobbies. What things do you enjoy that don't involve screens? What games do you play? What do you like to do outside?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love book apps and outdoor adventures

Themes & Topics

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