Interact Books is a company whose mission is to get kids reading. The organization offers a multifaceted approach which includes a free iPad app, a number of free books, plus additional titles available for in-app purchase. The company also offers InteractBuilder, software that allows users to create books which can be read inside its application.
These offerings intend to broaden children’s knowledge as well as to spark their imagination. The app acts as a library that stores a variety of titles which are available under the Interact umbrella.
Refer to the included guide for FAQs to begin using the app. To add books touch the library icon (the building with the marble columns) then select “books.” The bookstore opens and the user may download two free titles Counting in the Tub and Counting in the Tub coloring book. Currently users may purchase the Tortoise and the Hairpiece – a touching story about a tortoise who learns to love his bald head – and the ABC book – an interactive primer that should delight the youngest iPad users.
While in the store users may also download a free white bookcase, or purchase a purple or green bookcase for $0.99. Decorations that enhance Counting in the Tub are also available for free.
The Interact titles have “read to me” buttons that the user may toggle on or off. The stories are simple, yet details such as rhyming text and interactive hot spots on each page help keep kids interested.
The app allows the user to create and name multiple bookshelves within the app, which is great for families with more than one small child. Additionally, the style of the bookshelves can be customized, and decorated with stickers.
The Interact Books app is available to download in the App store for free, although additional books range in price from $1.99 to $3.99.
All interested authors take note — now is a great time to try out the InteractBuilder because InteractBooks is sponsoring a contest to find the very best books created with their software. All entries must be completed by October 15, 2011. The first place winner will receive 16gb white or black WIFI iPad2 or $500 and three-year membership to the InteractBuilder community. Please see the company website for all of the details.
What I liked: The app was convenient because it offered one location to read multiple books. The level of interactivity is appropriate for young children whose fine motor skills aren’t fully developed yet. The books can be read at any pace, even using the “read to me” feature, which means kids can take their time on each page.
What I didn’t like: Navigating the UI was confusing at times. Although the decorations can be resized, they can’t be moved once they are placed, which might frustrate some children.
To buy or not to buy: Parents of preschoolers may want to try InteractBooks, as the colorful stories are sure to appeal to some children. Children who have grown accustomed to more complex edu-apps may find these books too simplistic, but for other kids who may be overwhelmed by so many bells and whistles, these stories will be just the right speed.
- App Name: Interact Books
- Version Reviewed: 2.1
- Category: Books
- Developer: Interact Books
- Price: Free, purchase additional books in-app