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Review: Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur?

There are a number of apps for children interested in dinosaurs. This one is for those who don’t have  the facts about these “terrible lizards” down cold, and like their prehistoric creatures on the tame side.

Title: Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? All About Dinosaurs
Bonnie Worth
Steve Haefele
The Cat in the Hat Learning Library
Developed by:
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P /Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
iOS, requires 3.1 or later
Version: 1.08

PreS-Gr 1-“The Cat in the Hat” and friends explore the world of prehistoric animals in this true-to-the-book (Random House, 1998) addition to omBook library. Featuring silly rhymes, an enthusiastic narration, “Read to Me” and “Read Myself” options, and a few basic facts about a handful of dinosaurs, the app is sure to please young Dr. Seuss fans.

Information on the creatures is presented in a playful and systematic manner: first, a brief explanation of how fossils are formed, then specific dinosaurs are introduced along with a fact or two about each of them. Children (and possibly a few caregivers) will appreciate the pronunciation help that’s provided with the names of the animals. Silly comes in on lines and images such as those found for archaeopteryx: “One thing we/must ask,/and we must be quite firm:/If this bird was so early…/…did he catch the worm?” The verse is accompanied by a picture of a large grey, blue, and pink bird trying to pull a worm out of a hole in the ground.

Definitions for words in bold are provided when tapped. Unfortunately, at times they are a bit academic for the intended audience. For instance, “tooth:” “a hard object in the mouth, with roots in the jaws, that is used for biting and chewing food.”

Navigation is easy: readers can move forward, backward, or to the main menu by tapping the appropriate arrows (though on a couple of screens it’s difficult to spot an arrow against the vivid colors). Bird and other animals sounds can be heard throughout the app, which also features slight animations. An interactive introduction to nine dinosaurs and one fanciful creature: Catinthehatosaurus, anyone?—Sara M. Bryce, La Crosse Public Library, WI