Curious George is one of my most beloved characters from my childhood reading. I love that he is still as popular today as he was then, and that I can share his adventures with my children. Curious George and the Firefighters by iRead is the perfect way to read and play with my kids. Based on Margaret Ray’s original storybook, this app is a wonderful mixture of classic Curious George with the modern technology of interactive elements that really bring the story to life.
The story opens as Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat are visiting the local fire station. During the tour, George notices a long, shiny pole. Naturally, the ever-curious little monkey cannot resist exploring the pole and figuring out where it leads. Down the pole he slides to the room where the firemen’s gear is hanging. He tries on hats, boots and coats and is really enjoying himself until the fire bell rings! The firemen come sliding down the pole and find that all of their gear is mixed up! They dress and race out to the truck without noticing that Curious George is along for the ride. At the scene of the fire, George tries to help but is quickly seen by one of the firemen and ordered to sit on the bench and stay out of trouble. While he is sitting there, George finds a bucket of balls and what starts out as a simple game of catch soon turns into a fun and distracting way of keeping the frightened children busy and helps them forget about the fire. Curious George saves the day once again!
Aside from the wonderful story and classic illustrations, this e-book has several fun and unique interactive elements that your children will love. First of all, there are several “living words” highlighted throughout the story that when tapped, bring the illustrations to life. There is also an option to use the microphone on your device to record your voice or your child’s voice saying these words so that when they tap them, they hear a familiar voice saying the word. Additionally, each time you read the story you collect figures to use in the Puppet Theater. With this feature, your child can choose a scene from the story and place the figures they have collected wherever they’d like on the page. Then, they can use the microphone feature again to record themselves telling their own version of the story as they move the figures around and create their very own Curious George puppet show! Finally, there is a “Read and Talk” option which provides a parent or teacher with dialogue prompts for each page. These prompts are designed to help stimulate conversations about what is happening in the story and promote reading comprehension.
Curious George and the Firefighters by iRead is a fantastic app and e-book. All of the additional interactive elements really set this app apart in my opinion, and takes this app to the next level. My kids and I loved creating our own puppet shows. Anytime my kids can hear their own voices played back on the iPad, they want to keep playing over and over again. I also love how they use the classic Margaret Rey illustrations and stay very true to the original text of the story. With summer here, it is vital to keep your kids reading and with fun apps like this one you shouldn’t have any trouble!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.