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Looking for an app you can feel good about letting your child use? How about one that encourages storytelling through imaginary travel between abstract, interconnected worlds; where a visual adventure unfolds as you venture into spaces that transition into one another, encountering robots, frolicking insects, the underbelly of a lounge chair, an eerie underwater world and more! This is the idea behind Spot, a mesmerizing new app from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Caldecott Medal-winning author David Wiesner. A virtual riot of creative landscapes and characters reveals itself via the pinch-and-zoom feature of your iPad. Simply zoom and scroll to move through dazzling scenes, delving into worlds within worlds realized in Wiesner’s gorgeous original artwork.
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I honestly cannot recommend this app highly enough - it's a solid five stars! It is intricately designed, artfully-rendered, and packed with stories simply waiting to be told! While visiting each of the the various worlds, children can select a cast of characters, and spin stories crafted in their own imaginations. The possibilities are virtually endless, and the artwork inspires creative thinking and lots of giggles; each visit truly guarantees a unique experience!
Perfect for home or on the go, the app retails for only $3.99 and, while it is geared primarily for children ages 6-8, younger children could easily enjoy it with parental assistance and my almost-10-year-old daughter enjoys it immensely. It is also an ideal tool for the classroom. There is also a free companion eBook for this app called David Wiesner’s Spot: A Parent and Educator Guide, which contains prompts and questions to enhance your child’s experience with the app, as well as unique writing and classroom activities for teachers.
|screenshot from Spot|
My final word: there are few better ways to spend four dollars! Spot is a brilliantly executed app that disguises education as fun. It not only encourages creative thinking and storytelling, but exposes children to art and three-dimensional spatial thinking. My only criticism is that Spot is currently only available for iOS-compatible devices (a bitter pill to swallow for this loyal Android fan!); a critique I only mention because I would love to see this app available on multiple platforms to maximize its potential user reach. To all our readers with young children, I say: go get your copy of Spot today!
Safe, happy, and exciting travels!
*In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with a complimentary copy of this app to review.