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Review: ‘Biscuit’s First Trip’ and ‘Biscuit’s First Sleepover’ for iOS

The current topic of conversation on the Cooperative Children’s Book Center listserv is series books for children—books the children we serve love, and the books we loved as kids. As the contributors to that conversation will attest, readers find familiar characters and the stories about their adventures particularly satisfying.

There is also the matter of proficiency; children will return again and again to titles they feel they can master. For emergent readers this is especially true. They are proud of their new skill and each book they complete on their own reinforces their accomplishment.

Add familiarity + mastery + a dog story and what do you have? An early reader (“Biscuit”) success story. In addition to these apps, which were released early this year, HarperCollins has also published two in the “Fancy Nancy” series. With many beginning reader series titles on their list, it will be interesting to see what’s up next for HarperCollins in apps. Suggestions, anyone?

TG Review thinbanner4 Review: Biscuits First Trip and Biscuits First Sleepover for iOS

biscuit sm2 Review: Biscuits First Trip and Biscuits First Sleepover for iOSTitle: Biscuit’s First Sleepover
Author: Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Illustrator
: Rosemary Berlin, based on the style of Pat Schories
Developed by:
Curious Puppy/HarperCollins Publishers
Platform:
iPad, requires iOS 3.2 or later
Version: 1.0
Series:
Biscuit the Little Yellow Puppy
Price: $2.99

Bistrip Review: Biscuits First Trip and Biscuits First Sleepover for iOSTitle: Biscuit’s First Trip
Author: Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Illustrator
: Rosemary Berlin, based on the style of Pat Schories
Developed by:
Curious Puppy/HarperCollins Publishers
Platform:
iPad, requires iOS 3.2 or later
Version: 1.0
Series:
Biscuit the Little Yellow Puppy
Price: $2.99

PreS-Gr 2-The frisky yellow pup beloved by beginner readers is off on adventures in two iPad apps based on print titles (2008, 2010, both HarperFestival). In the first, it’s an overnight filled with the typical ups and downs youngsters (and young canines) experience the first time away from home, and in the second, a car ride to a winter reunion with extended family.

In both apps, children have the option of reading the text on their own or listening to a narrator. While the narration suits the text perfectly, a repetitive “Woof, woof!” may try some listeners’ patience. As words are read aloud they are highlighted in red. Pages pan and scan automatically, adding text as they move. However, readers inclined to tap (and flip) the pages too soon may miss portions of the text. Even the “Read by Myself” option pans and scans automatically, often too quickly; some emergent readers may have difficulty keeping pace with the app.

Interactivity is limited to readers turning the pages. Will Biscuit fans mind? Unlikely. -MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools, Binghamton, NY

TG ToPurchase5 Review: Biscuits First Trip and Biscuits First Sleepover for iOS

TG ToPurchase6 Review: Biscuits First Trip and Biscuits First Sleepover for iOS