The Snow Fox

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
The Snow Fox App Poster Image
Voice recognition is the star of cute, very short story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids are encouraged to read aloud, which is great for building fluency. But without being able to hear the text, they will require an adult to be on hand for words they struggle with. The story itself is more fantasy the reality, so they won't learn much about actual foxes. 

Ease of Play

The voice recognition works well and kids will have no trouble getting through the story. There's an activity that invites kids to make a video which isn't entirely clear.

Violence & Scariness

There is a moment of the story that might frighten young kids. A set of eyes peer out of the darkness, but the scene is short lived.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Snow Fox is an ebook that responds to the reader's voice to help move the story along. While you can progress by tapping on the screen, the app is built around using voice recognition technology. The story is simple and short, but sensitive kids might find the nighttime aspects, paired with a set of glowing eyes peering out, a bit scary. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

THE SNOW FOX tells the story of a little boy or girl (user's choice), named by the reader, who sets out on a nighttime adventure with a baby arctic fox. They look at the stars together, but when the woods get dark, the baby fox is afraid and wants to stop. In the end, there's a familiar voice and face waiting in the woods for them. The reader can choose to read the story out loud and the app will respond to the text. Alternatively, they can tap on the screen to progress, although that option isn't as smooth at the voice recognition. 

Is it any good?

This cute story invites families to read out loud together using voice-recognition technology, but it's very short. The Snow Fox is adorable, but it's so brief that it feels more like a vehicle for showing off the technology than a stand-alone tale. The voice recognition becomes the star: It responds accurately to the reader, filtering out background noise including voices from the TV and radio. As a result, it creates a lovely platform for encouraging reading aloud and fluency practice. The video component is confusing, as it seems to merely provide the opportunity to record a voiceover to a specific bit of content from the story. Kids will likely enjoy the tale, even though it's short. The baby fox is just too cute to resist! For a free app, it's certainly more than worth checking out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality vs. fiction in The Snow Fox. What parts of the story could happen in real life? What parts are made up?

  • Talk to your kids about screen use and limits. How can kids enjoy digital media in balance with other activities?

  • Ask kids about ebook vs. paper books. Do they have a preference? What makes an ebook worth having it be on a screen?

App details

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For kids who love ebooks and animals

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