The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play App Poster Image
Imitate famous familiar art style; tools inflexible.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about art techniques and creative expression by cutting out shapes to make collages and using different shades of patterned paper to give shadow and depth to their figures. 

Ease of Play

Painting and creating are as easy as tapping and dragging. A few more drawing options would make interactions smoother.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There's an icon that takes users to ads for additional apps from the same developer. Users must pass through a parent gate to get to a purchase page. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play gives kids patterned "paper," drawing tools, and templates to create images reminiscent of Eric Carle's iconic artwork. Kids can use a blank canvas or trace around and color in templates. Though familiarity is not at all necessary, kids who know Carle's artwork will recognize the line-drawing figures. The background music is gentle, but if kids or parents don't want it, they can turn it off, and the app asks for permission to access your device's camera roll when kids tap to download saved drawings in their gallery. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Get inspired by illustrator Eric Carle's iconic style and create digital collages and drawings with THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR - CREATIVE PLAY. Kids choose to create on a blank canvas or use a dotted-line drawing of some of the most recognizable figures from Carle's books. In collage mode, kids choose a pattern and drag their finger around the screen to cut out shapes. In draw mode, kids choose a color and a paintbrush or pencil. Saved drawings are stored in the app's gallery, from which they can also be saved in the device's camera roll.

Is it any good?

Kids can make and save beautiful digital artwork, though options and drawing tools are limited. Overall, the app's presentation is simple and accessible, and kids can easily and quickly create. It's neat how kids can mimic Eric Carle's collage technique by "cutting" out shapes from a large collection of patterned "paper." There's more creative potential when kids use a blank slate, but they'll probably also enjoy using Carle's line drawings as templates. Yet, there's room for this app to be simple and accessible but still offer additional options and features to give kid more and easier control over their creations. It would be nice, for example, to be able to cut out more than one shape from a single sheet before it disappears, to adjust an already cut piece rather than having to trash it and start all over again, or to be able to edit saved drawings. Eric Carle's artwork has delighted generations of kids, and this is a fun way for young (or old) fans to mimic his style, but the excessive simplicity and lack of options limit creativity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different shapes, patterns, and colors they see in the app. Ask kids why they chose particular colors, shades, or patterns or what they were thinking about as they were creating their art.

  • Read Eric Carle's books together and enjoy the simple text and colorful artwork.

  • Make several drawings and have kids tell a story about what they made.

App details

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