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Thumbelina for the iPhone
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Thumbelina is a storybook app that allows parents to be involved in the experience. By recording your own voice reading each page, your kids can hear you reading them the story each time they play. If you don't record your own voice, there is the option to turn on an English narrator, or to turn off narration altogether. The book's language can be changed to Spanish, French, German, or Japanese. You can also adjust the settings so that there is an automatic page flip every 10 seconds, every 20 seconds, or none at all. On each page of the story, there are some sound effects and interactive elements, such as being asked to knock on a door. It is possible to communicate with people over email, Twitter, and Facebook at the end of the story. There is a similar HD app, Thumbelina for the iPad.
Is it any good?
THUMBELINA is a cute interactive storybook with adorable graphics and a gentle story. You can record your own voice to read the story to your kids, and they can also interact with each page in a way that's relevant to what is on the page. Each page also has appropriate sound effects. Sometimes the sound effects are loud enough to drown out the reading voice, though, so experiment with how loud you record your voice for best results. It does take time to set up the parent-read story when you start using the app, but it is worth it to have your kids listen to a story read by you, even if you aren't there. Adding your own special voices, flourishes, or intonations can make it more special.
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