Tales Untold

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Tales Untold App Poster Image
Fun, well-crafted audio stories entertain parents and kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn listening skills, moral lessons, and facts as they enjoy the stories and nonfiction pieces. Since these stories were created for parents to listen to with their kids, they're also a great way to introduce kids to oral storytelling. 

Ease of Play

With big buttons and easy navigation, kids will quickly figure out how to find and favorite the content they like most.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

When you click on an unpurchased episode, the pop-up states this is content that you "don't own yet." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tales Untold is a collection of original audio stories geared toward a preschool and early elementary school audience. With great music and catchy theme songs, these five- to 15-minute tales include both fiction and nonfiction and are designed specifically for kids and adults to listen to together. The first episode of each series is available for free preview, and content is available for purchase as individual episodes or by the season. For those without an Apple device, all seasons of the tales are available for text download on Kindle, and many of the episodes are available as audiobooks on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

TALES UNTOLD is a series of audio stories intended for preschool-age kids and adults to experience together. There are six series of "tales" on offer so far: "Radbert" (about a 5-year-old monster who lives with a human family), "Inspector 9" (an adventure story about a parallel universe accessible through a magic bunk bed), "Trouble with Wishes" (a magical adventure story about a family of brothers and sisters), "Trunk Show" (about a little girl named Annie and her imaginative play), "A Little About a Lot" (a nonfiction show about how the world works), and "Dingus Fly, Private Eye" (a throwback to 1930s radio detective dramas). The first episode of each tale is available for free on the app, on the developer's website, and through several other vendors, and families can choose to purchase more episodes.

Is it any good?

It's tempting to call this a podcast app for preschoolers since it's easy to imagine kids getting as excited for the next episode of Inspector 9 as their parents might get for their favorite series. The best thing about this app might be its developers' focus on the stories, not the technology, since they're most interested in using mobile devices to help parents and kids listen to a story together. Each story feels like an excellent audiobook because there's an easy-to-sing theme song for each series, and an excellent narrator reads each story slowly and imaginatively. As for the stories themselves, there are boy and girl (and monster!) protagonists whose adventures range from inadvertently making a bubble bath to discovering a secret parallel universe by way of a magical bunk bed. Plus, the nonfiction series "A Little About a Lot" is an approachable way for kids (and their parents) to learn about how things work. There are also listening kits available for use in families, in educational settings, and in health care settings. The only real drawback here is the price: Subscribing to every show could get pricey fast, but many families will find it's worth it after listening to a few of these absorbing stories.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the best ways to set up some quiet time to listen to these stories. They might be good for a road trip, or they might be a good bedtime story treat once in a while. Get more tips about how to use ebooks and audiobooks in your home.

  • While there's magic and adventure afoot in these stories, there are also important lessons about friendship, fairness, and other age-appropriate themes throughout. Talk about what happened, what their favorite parts of the story were, and what they learned from the story. You might even talk about creating your own adventures and stories for these characters.

  • The nonfiction stories in "A Little About a Lot" are great introductions to how the world around us works. What else do you wonder about? How else might you learn more about the world? 

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