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★★★ Open House ★★★
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StoryTime: Billy Goats Gruff
© 2017 StoryToys

CTR Review
Ease of Use
Design Features
Reviewed using the Standard Rubric
For ages 3-7
For grades P, K, 1, 2
$1.99, iPad, iPhone
Teaches: reading, fairy tales
Tagged for: Geometry, isFiction, Early Reading, ECE
The first of a new series of storyapps called "StoryTime," this rendition of Billy Goats Gruff combines quality illustrations and narration with a simple narrative structure that sticks with the original story. According to press materials, this new series is designed to "provide a rich literacy experience in an easy to use format." There are three modes available in the parent's menu: Read to Me (text is read by a narrator as text highlights); Read by Myself (text is presented with no narration); and Picture Mode (no text).  At one point in the story -- just after the goats cross the bridge -- a "Kid Prompts" appears -- a classic comprehension building strategy. In this case "How did the goats plan together to get across the bridge?"  There is no table of contents, so you can't easily navigate within the story, and you need to go all the way to the end to find the credits (why not include them in the parent's menu?). We liked the ability to adjust the presentation,background music and reading mode. For example the Picture Mode presents the story without any text, making it possible to add your own narration. It would be good if a child could record his or her own voice reading the story. Future storyapps include Sinbad the Sailor, Pinocchio and Jack and the Beanstalk.

Need to know: Looking for the credits? You have to go all the way to the end of the story to see the credits (the illustration is by Fiona Curran, the story text by Jim Pipe).  Also you can't touch and hear specific words to hear them sounded out individually.
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