There's No Place Like Space!: All About Our Solar System

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
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Facts and features enhance space discovery, Dr. Seuss style.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about the solar system and space as they practice reading by themselves or listen to the narrator reading highlighted text. This ebook from The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library Series reviews the basic characteristics of the planets, moon, and sun. Kids can also learn about constellations as well as a few additional facts scattered throughout the book. This version reflects the revised text, which accurately does not include Pluto as a planet. There's No Place Like Space!: All About Our Solar System combines solid literacy building with age-appropriate space science lessons.

Ease of Play

There is a brief tutorial on the information page off the main menu, and written directions appear on each page to help reading kids (or parents) discover all of the special features. Features include tapping and dragging some objects, tapping bolded text to see a definition, and tapping Thing One or Thing Two for extra facts. There are two reading modes: read to me, and read myself. In read to me, the text is highlighted as the narrator reads, and kids choose when to advance to the next page.   

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A hat icon from the main menu links to more apps by the developer.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that There's No Place Like Space!: All About Our Solar System is an educational and engaging adaptation of the revised (sans Pluto) book by Dr. Seuss. In the story, The Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two arrive in a spaceship and invite Sally and Dick to explore space with them. Similar to other preschool book apps, kids can read along with narrated text or read the book themselves, and tap on pictures to see and hear the names of objects. There are great sound effects, and some of the objects can slide and move. The app also includes definitions and extra facts for the planets, as well as the sun and moon. Several vocabulary words are fairly advanced, so the book can appeal to a wide range of ages.

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What's it about?

In this updated adaptation of THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE SPACE!, The Cat in the Hat invites Sally and Dick to explore the solar system, then narrates their journey around the planets, stars, and the moon. Each interactive page presents a poetic plethora of facts and figures, with silly animations and sound effects adding to the fun. The book reinforces reading through highlighting the text, providing definitions if kids tap bolded words, and showing and saying the names of objects when kids tap around the pages. Kids can also choose to read the book themselves.

Is it any good?

Kids will love There's No Place Like Space!, an excellent adaptation of the educational book starring The Cat in the Hat. The illustrations, like the included mnemonic device, play on word associations to create silly pictures to help kids learn and remember the main attributes of objects in our solar system -- such as the whole gang lined up outside of a dressing room waiting for autographs from the "number one star," the Sun. There is a lot to learn on each page, particularly with the definitions of bold words. The small animations, sound effects, and interactivity are fun and engaging, making the reader feel like a true participant in the adventure!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Take your kids outside on a starry night and point out some of the planets or constellations. Apps like SkyView - Explore the Universe can guide you.

  • Mark your calendar for upcoming astronomical events like lunar and solar eclipses or meteor showers. Kids will love learning about and witnessing these spectacular shows.

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