Starfall Learn to Read

App review by
Cynthia Chiong, Common Sense Media
Starfall Learn to Read App Poster Image
Great reading activities fit a range of skill levels.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn to make that difficult transition from knowing their letters and letter sounds to actually reading. Starfall Learn to Read provides great features to help kids of differing skill levels. If kids are struggling, they can tap on a word to hear it sounded out and see each part of the word highlighted. If kids are pre-readers, they can tap on the sound icon to hear the sentence read aloud. With each mini-book, kids get exposure to the target sounds with plenty of repetition. Starfall's Learn to Read, with its well-designed books and activities, is an excellent tool for helping kids boost skills.

Ease of play

The app is easy to use and encourages exploration. Kids and parents would benefit from a little more instruction to help find some of the app's great features.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Starfall Learn to Read is an app version of the stellar learn-to-read website, Starfall. The app has the same content as the "Learn to Read" section of the site. There are 15 mini-books, each focusing on a specific vowel, along with videos and activities to enhance literacy learning. As with other Starfall apps, the thorough and careful design keeps kids focused on learning.

User Reviews

Adult Written byAnitaT March 16, 2013
Teen, 15 years old Written byhpofficejet6500 January 2, 2013

Must visit site!

I went on the website all the time when I was younger, the website reads everything aloud and is interactive so it really makes children want to learn to read!... Continue reading

What's it about?

In STARFALL LEARN TO READ, kids choose from a set of mini-books, each of which includes a cute song and short plot using words with the featured vowel sound. On each page, kids can read a sentence on their own, get help on pronunciation, and hear a sentence read aloud. An illustration sometimes animates or requires kids to interact by tapping on items. When kids finish the book portion, they can play related activities such as fill-in-the-blanks or matching and watch a fun video about print concepts.

Is it any good?

Starfall Learn to Read really maximizes on the learning in a fun way. It takes every opportunity to label the letters and letter sounds. Even as kids tap on the "next" arrow, the arrow turns into the target letter and kids can hear the letter sound again. The mini-books have a nice progression when kids read them in order. For each vowel sound, there's a good mix of reading, games, songs, and videos. It would be nice to label each mini-book so that if parents and kids wanted to practice a specific vowel sound, they could easily find the appropriate book. While it's fun to see how they've incorporated some interactive elements into the activities, those who use the website will find few surprises.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Watch along to help your kids read the mini-books. Have them tap on words they are struggling with to hear the pronunciation.

  • Ask your kids what sounds and words they learned and try to point them out in everyday contexts.

App details

For kids who love learning to read

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate