In this interactive book, children will join Ms. Frizzle for a ride on the Magic School Bus, where they will explore all kinds of dinosaurs, sharpen reading skills, and learn plenty of fun facts.
Each and every page in this story features an activity or interaction for children to take part in. There are dinosaur digs to discover fossils, dinosaur assemblies, and even an added multi-level game to play after the story is finished.
Pages are narrated in different voices for all of the separate characters, which is a nice touch. Every bit of text on a page is tappable, which will cause the narrator to read it aloud, from speech bubbles to book titles. Many objects are also interactive, and tapping them will identify the object aloud, so kids can learn new vocabulary words.
Although the book is not full screen, I liked the way that it was presented, with text on torn sheets of notebook paper. It was clear and easy to read. The story is well thought out and engaging, starting out with a class field trip to a dinosaur dig that ends up as a trip back in time to explore dinosaurs as they lived.
Pages with a notebook will give extra dinosaur facts, such as revealing that dinosaurs lived with the first mammals, which were furry, rat-like creatures. Did you know that all meat eating dinosaurs were two legged, or that Maiasaura means “good mother lizard”?
Some pages have a shovel, which indicates that there’s a special dinosaur dig. Digging for fossils is done by tapping the hammer and then tapping the rocks to break them open. When a fossil is found, a brush is used to clear it off with a sweeping motion, and then all of the bones are put together to form a full dinosaur.
In addition to the story, there are dinosaur cards that can be accessed at the main menu. The cards have even more facts about 16 different kinds of dinosaurs, from Apatosaurus and Triceratops to Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus. Finally, there’s a match-3 type game where you match different kinds of dinosaurs to clear the board.
All in all, there is a wealth of knowledge about dinosaurs available in this book, and is perfect for any child with a keen interest in dinosaurs, fossils, science, or paleontology.
What I liked: The extra facts available with the notebook were a lot of fun to read, and I learned quite a few things that I didn’t know about dinosaurs. Even adults will enjoy reading this book along with their kids, thanks to plenty of fascinating facts.
What I didn’t like: While this book is filled with content and facts, the extra games are a little bit simplistic and repetitive, making this book a little overpriced. We review a lot of books, and there have been several with just as much or more interactivity for a lower price.
To buy or not to buy: This is a must have for dinosaur lovers. The book is very thorough and visits all of the different eras of dinosaurs throughout time, so there’s a lot of content here that will have children reading again and again to learn all of the many facts.
- App Name: The Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Scholastic Interactive
- Price: $7.99