Leon the Lion and Friends is an original story created for the iPad. The tale follows Leon as he solves some trouble amongst his friends. The story’s text is simple and more of a summary of what is happening in the illustration but the app comes with narration performed by Solomon Burke, a Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award winner. Mr. Burke embellishes the story and adds dialogue for the different characters, he brings it to life.
In addition to listening to Mr. Burke’s narration, readers can record their own versions of the story and then play that back while they enjoy the story. When they are finished with the story there are coloring pages. Several illustrations been turned into black and white pictures for your child to color in and there are a few that can be “painted” by the swiping of a finger. A simple motion back and forth across the screen will reveal the colored picture, this is nice for younger children. In addition to the coloring activity readers will also find puzzles that have been created from the story’s illustrations. Each puzzle can be solved in three difficulty levels which determine the number of pieces. Players can also choose whether to show the outlines of the puzzle. When the outlines are gone and you are on the more difficult setting the puzzles become a challenge for older children.
I do have one small suggestion for the app. When Mr. Burke provides dialogue for the characters speech bubbles with musical notes appear next to them in the illustration. This lets readers know who is speaking but I found it a bit distracting. My preference would be to see the bubbles removed and have the animals shake or glow, something more subtle instead. Overall, Leon the Lion is a unique story and the extra features are a great boost to the app’s content.
Price when Reviewed: $2.99
Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Seller: Simon Boyce-Maynard
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.