A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn how to answer who, what, when, why, and where questions after reading short stories. Parents and kids can also create their own stories with the pictures and backgrounds included or take and use their own pictures. The stories are cute and motivating, but long-term engagement isn't likely unless the developer adds additional stories. StoryPals can be a good app for independent reading, for assessing comprehension, for writing new and novel stories, but has some limitations.
Ease of Play
The controls on StoryPals consist of arrows to turn pages, a play button to listen to the story, and a question-mark button for help. The help button displays a series of slides describing how to use the app, change features, and create your own stories and quizzes. The issue with the slides is that you flip through them or make them smaller so you can find what you need. An adult will need to access the help content to support the child.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that StoryPals is a reading-comprehension app that lets kids create their own stories. There are 24 short stories that target kids on reading levels from grade 2 to 6. Kids can hear the stories read to them or read them themselves. In the basic version, there is no text-to-speech or highlighting as the story is read, but digitized speech can be recorded. The included stories' characters are animals and cartoons, and the illustrations are animated when activated. Each story has a quiz attached; you can assign and track responses for up to six kids. Questions center on who, what, where, when, and why, and scores list how many correct answers users have out of a total and give a percentage. Scores also display dates so you can track progress over time. You can also create your own stories and quizzes with the backgrounds and characters provided or with your own images.
Is It Any Good?
STORYPALS is a good app for supporting kids as they learn reading comprehension and how to respond to "wh" questions, which fosters a deeper understanding of content. But, with only 24 stories, ultimately kids will memorize them and the quizzes will become invalid. The ability to create your own stories is a nice feature, but it can be time-consuming. Both app options seem a bit pricey for the limited number of stories offered.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.