“Earthworms are really tasty,” according to Franklin frog, the star of Rounds: Franklin Frog. This universal kid’s edu-app is the first in a planned series of non-fiction apps that British developer Nosy Crow has created for three to six-year-old children.
Readers will find all of Nosy Crow’s usual style and clarity as they learn about the lifecycle of a frog. Before the story begins the main screen lets readers choose between read-and-play mode or read-to-self mode.
Kids use simple gesture controls to trace the life cycle of the frog from adult to egg to tadpole to froglet. Readers will help Franklin jump, swim, eat (my favorite!) and even to find Felicity, his chosen mate.
The reader can spend as much or as little time as he likes on each page. When all the activities are complete the page turn arrow bounces to get the reader’s attention.
The app’s tone strikes the perfect balance between accuracy and age-appropriate content. Readers learn that “not all of Felicity’s frogspawn will survive, which is why she lays so many.” The story’s approach to life and death doesn’t shy away from biological truths, yet remains gentle in its approach. The reader learns that herons like to eat frogs, but in this story, the frog remains safe from the hungry heron’s diving beak.
The story continues with Franklin’s progeny, Fraser frog, repeating the same behaviors we read about with his father, right up to mating with a new female frog, Flora. (Fraser and Flora beget Fletcher. Fletcher and Ferne beget — you guessed it — Franklin!) Not only is the repetition true to life, but it helps reinforce educational material that may be new to many young readers.
As one might expect from Nosy Crow, the developer paid careful attention to small details. For example, the tadpole can swim in any direction, and a user can turn off word highlighting if he chooses.
Download Rounds: Franklin Frog from the App Store for the introductory price of $0.99. The app’s regular price will be $2.99.
What I liked: Rounds: Franklin Frog’s pacing is masterful. The story is neither too overstimulating for children, nor too subdued to capture their attention.
What I didn’t like: Nothing. Rounds: Franklin Frog is brilliant!
To buy or not to buy: Catch Rounds: Franklin Frog while it’s on sale for just $0.99 through its first weekend, though even at full price ($2.99), this app is a wonderful introduction to the life cycle of the frog.
- App Name: Rounds: Franklin Frog
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
- Category: Books
- Developer: Nosy Crow
- Price: $2.99