Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review- Grimm's Frog King by JustKidsApps

  Grimm's Frog King by JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy

When I saw a post reaching out to educators wanting to try Grimm's Frog King, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy.  This app looked perfect for my upper elementary students.  I am a speech language pathology assistant, and story retell is a big part of language therapy for many of my students.  We also work on summarizing, answering questions, making connections- tried and true fairy tales are a favorite for all of these skills.  What attracted me to this Grimm's Frog King app is the two variations of the fairy tale that it contains- a traditional version, and a second more modern version.  The second version is appropriately named "The version with a funny twist".   Having two different versions of the same story is perfect for working on compare/contrast skills, which is what I had planned on.  After reading the second version with a narrator adding her own commentary about the characters' feelings and motives, it was clear this would actually be a perfect opportunity to talk about concepts such as humor/sarcasm, and point of view/theory of mind. The kids ended up wanting to make their own commentary just like the second version of the story (We agreed there was no way the frog would want to marry someone as mean as the princess). This led to rewriting our own ending.  

There is also an "Extras" tab has with a page of frog-related jokes (some definitively British), a fine motor activity "catch the frog", a spot the difference activity, a "toad or frog?" comparison (my favorite), a mini quiz requiring the reader to play close attention to details in the illustrations from the second version of the story, a page with information on the illustrator and authors, and one final frog joke for the slightly older crowd (I skipped over this one).

My favorite features:
two versions of Grimm's Frog King (English or German)
rich language
a pause button- great for stopping for discussion
a fun way to introduce concepts of humor/ sarcasm, point of view
charming narration (British English) and sound effects 
watercolor illustrations with pinch to zoom feature
interactive hot spots hidden in the stories
Fun "Extras" activities

Wish List:
page jump for the "Extras" tab
key words highlighted/dictionary feature
option to shut off background noises
 could have done without the wine commentary

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