I’m a sucker for embedded instructional videos and Bobo has quite a few (don’t miss the one on lightning), as well as screen after screen of terrific graphics. There’s also a quirky robot host that kids will love. I can’t wait to see where Bobo’s interests take him next.
Gr. 2-6-What causes lightning? What’s responsible for those light shows called auroras? These and other questions are answered in this delightful and informative production. Readers blast off with Bobo, a friendly robot with a magnetic personality (and hands) as he explores light in various forms and sources from lasers and lightning to binoculars and bioluminescence. The app is packed with fascinating facts, interactive elements, and multimedia clips.
Bobo is easy to navigate and includes a narrated interactive tutorial that highlights some of the title’s special features. Each of the 21 chapters features three pull-down tabs; one presents a movie or photos, a second offers factoids, and a third details the science behind the chapter’s topic. Each chapter also has interactive elements involving Bobo, and often, the lesson at hand. For example, after being presented with information on refraction, viewers can move balloons about a dark screen manipulating how and where rays of neon lights bounce off of them, while in the background a shimmery disco ball spins, music plays, and Bobo shows off some of his dance moves.
Students will enjoy this winning title and when they reach the final screen will be rewarded with a firework display. While Bobo provides pronunciation assistance for many of the more difficult terms, it doesn’t include a “read to me” function for emergent and/or struggling readers, who will also find it very appealing. However, there’s still plenty for them to explore in the app including its gyroscope capabilities, 3-D holograms, and narrated video clips, which add depth to this attractively designed, well-conceived production.—Wayne R. Cherry, Jr., First Baptist Academy, Houston, TX