The team here are great at reviewing new gadgets, applications and technologies. But when we came across “QBooks”, ebooks for children, we didn’t think we were nearly as qualified as a teacher and her five-year-old.
Our daughter was recently introduced to two ebooks by Kiwa Media for the iPad. Miss 5, an enthusiastic early reader, is all over these bright and colourful stories. With their charming illustrations and highly interactive features she can’t get enough. She loves the independence of being able to read to herself, and touching unfamiliar words when she needs help from the narrator. She can choose to play a recording of our voices reading to her or, when she’s had enough of listening to us, she can opt for it to be read to her in the dulcet tones of a professional narrator! Or even in another language!
We especially love the colouring feature, which allows us to alter the illustrations of the book and choose which illustration setting we would like to set for replay.
That’s not Junk and Milly, Molly and Salt and Pepper are both lovely rhythmic stories packed full of interesting adjectives and adverbs for vocabulary building. With their Hairy Maclary-esque rhymes and community flavour they celebrate the quirky best of their characters.
The education potential is great, too. Seeing each word flash up on the screen as the narrator reads it is a very useful tool and the spelling-out feature is helping our daughter to sort out those tricky similar-sounding vowel formations. Although the vocabulary and sentence structure in the stories is a little complicated for her reading level, there is so much support that the challenge is stretching her reading ability and motivating her to experiment with new vocabulary. I am impressed!
If I only had the budget for a class set of iPads, I would buy a set of these books for my own class. They would be such an asset for second language speakers as well as our native English speakers. And with their politically-correct themes they would go down a treat with curriculum and parents alike!
Parent, Teacher (ESOL)