Let Parker take your child on a journey to learn about a penguin's life cycle. From birth to hatching a chick of his own, this innovative interactive app gently introduces concepts related to the animal's survival through a charming, immersive narrative. Children can take part in Parker's activities such as learning how to hunt for food or avoiding predators until he finds his mate and the story starts all over again. As a part of the Rounds series of apps, this non-fiction title spans three generations of penguins and bears the much-loved hallmarks expected of a Nosy Crow creation. With plenty of fun interactive activities coupled with fascinating facts about penguins, your little one will enjoy learning about biology in a clever, age-appropriate way.
In order to get the most out of the app, players are presented with two choices before beginning the story. The "Read and Play" option allows children to explore the app with a narration to listen to and follow along. Words are highlighted as they are spoken in order to assist early readers. Blue dots mark interactive hotspots. These contain interesting penguin facts as well as details about their habitat and surrounding objects. Tapping on Parker and the other animals will also make them speak.
On the other hand, choosing the "Read by Myself" option will retain all music and sound effects but will remove narrations for all other text. Spoken dialogue is silenced, though kids can still read their content via speech bubbles that appear when the characters are tapped. This is the appropriate mode for children who wish to read the story along with an adult or simply those who prefer to take their time studying the text.
Though the app's pace is quite relaxed, children will enjoy taking the reins as they tilt the device to get the penguins to dive off slopes, drag them gently to acquire some food and tap on the characters to initiate a dialogue. The app encourages its players to take their time to explore Antarctica by adding an extra tap to turn the page when there are still interactive items to be found. While it will not prevent a player from skipping parts, this does come in quite handy for those who do want to view all of game's facts and snippets of dialogue.
If you're worried about sensitive concepts such as predators and parenthood, don't be. The delivery is kept-age appropriate by substituting grown-up ideas with relatable actions such as singing and dancing. The graphics are lovely, with clean lines and soft-colored backgrounds. The penguins themselves are charming with subtle expressions to match the overall feel of the app. To complement their maturity in the story, their body details change as well, starting out as a chick with down feathers and then bearing the yellow patches of fully grown emperor penguins. Because the content is carefully chosen, this app is perfect for preschoolers as well as elementary students.
All in all, Rounds: Parker Penguin is truly a gem in terms of enjoyable, age-appropriate apps and educational value. It does away with overwhelming, violent cartoons and opts instead for a gentle sort of story book delivery. The concepts are carefully introduced using cute graphics and delightful terms so that children can understand biology without stumbling on technical wordings.
Nosy Crow's Rounds: Parker Penguin is a beautiful app that will, hopefully, spark a love for science and nature in your little one. It is designed for both the iPhone and the iPad and is rated 4+ in the iTunes store.