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Interactive iPad Book for Children | Nosy Crow's 3 Little Pigs

Marcy writes about family, home life, parenting, money-saving tips, and many other topics, as well as essays and occasional humor pieces.

Three Little Pigs Interactive App for iPad | Tablet

Paper or iPad? Interactivity creates new ways for children to learn to read.

Paper or iPad? Interactivity creates new ways for children to learn to read.

Five Stars for This iPad App!

Teach Your Child to Read with iPad Books

Children today are growing up in the digital age, and many start using iPads, computers or iPods from the time they're toddlers. If you own one of these devices, you can help your child learn computer or interactive skills and at the same time, introduce them to reading.

Nosy Crow has developed a 3-D app of the traditional children's tale of the Three Little Pigs, but it's not your grandma's nursery book story.

This interactive version allows children to help move the story forward through the touch screen and subtly teaches a few social lessons along with the hugely entertaining graphics and animations.

Here's a brief review of the app, and information for parents on how it develops a variety of learning skills:

Video: Child Using Three Little Pigs App

How Nosy Crow's Three Little Pigs | Interactive App Works

As with the traditional storybook we all grew up hearing, the three pigs each build a house, and of course the straw and wood houses don't stand up to the Big Bad Wolf. The house made of bricks, however, withstands the wolf's assault.

Nosy Crow has enhanced the story a bit to add a few elements not seen in the original version, and to remove some elements that might frighten today's children.

In the App version, the three pigs are sent off into the world by their parents; they show different levels of maturity, and they react to being sent off into the world in different ways (more about this in a bit).

The other (very important) adjustment to the plot is that none of the little pigs get 'eaten up' by the Big Bad Wolf. This not only makes the story less frightening, but it supports some other changes Nosy Crow has included in the story.

Why Use iPads to Teach Reading?

Even preschool children need to learn the logic behind using interactive 'gadgets,' such as iPads, iPods or computers. As we adults know, only a decade or two ago, some of these didn't exists. Our children and grandchildren will be using devices not yet developed, and an important part of their learning experience today includes electronic literacy (notice I said 'electronic literacy,' not 'computer literacy.' This type of learning now goes far beyond the keyboard and computer screen.

You can reinforce reading skills by incorporating them into your child's experience with devices.

Interactive Learning on iPad

Even older children (not to mention mom and dad, when nobody is looking) will enjoy the interactive features of this App, which will keep little fingers happy for hours.

The App includes three different ways to activate and play the story. One version reads the story to the child and highlights the words as they are written. The words the characters are saying pop up in dialogue bubbles similar to comic strips.

The second version reads the story aloud but allows the child to help initiate various animations, such as when the pigs build their houses, or when the wolf blows them down.

As before, the words are highlighted in sequence so the child can tell which word is being read as he or she hears the word. The progression of highlights helps imprint the syllables in words with their sounds.

Independent Reading Without Prompts:

The third version of this app lets the child read the story independently, so they will learn to read on their own.

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Children's voices are used for the audio versions, and all are excellent young voiceover actors with British accents that will remind you of the stars in the Harry Potter series of movies.

The interactive versions include additional dialogue bubbles that will appear if the child touches the character more than once, and you can make the characters turn summersaults by flicking a finger across them on the screen.

Hidden characters also pop up, which teaches the child to look for additional details, and these characters will speak or move as well, once they're spotted and the screen is touched. The hidden characters teach young children to notice details (some are actually pretty tricky to find!) and to pay attention to small differences in graphics.

Video Clip of iPad's Nosy Crow Three Little Pigs App

Social Learning Skills Through 3 Little Pigs iPad App

As mentioned above, the app is a useful tool for reading, and takes the child through each word as it is spoken by highlighting the words in red.

The touch-screen elements teach even very young children excellent hand-eye coordination and small motor skills.

Rather than limiting the story to boring third-person phrases that describe what the pigs are doing, the App gives each pig its own personality and incorporates humor in their dialogue. You'll hear the oldest pig complain about being tired and needing a nap, and the middle pig (which is a girl) brag about being a good dancer, while their little brother has the most energy and sees life as an adventure.

Social Learning Elements:

Unlike the traditional story we grew up with, where all three pigs appeared to be male and resembled each other, one piglet in the App (the middle pig) is female. Contrary to what might be expected, the oldest pig is not the one who saves the day; the youngest pig is the one who is smart enough to use bricks and is fearless when the wolf arrives.

This teaches children a deeper understanding of the 'think ahead and plan well' message of the original nursery story, and it points out (a bit transparently, but still effectively) the benefits of facing changes in life with enthusiasm.

There's a great message in the App about not letting bullies get the best of you. While the two older pigs are afraid of the wolf and somewhat helpless, the younger pig scoffs at the wolf's bullying and plans a way to thwart him.

And as with all bullies, once someone calls his bluff and gets the best of him, the wolf runs off to nurse his wounds.

What Do You Think?

Overall Rating of Nosy Crow's Book | App for Children

As you can see above, I gave this app five stars, - I wish it had been around when my kids were little. Heck, they'd probably still enjoy it!

Adults will have fun locating the hidden features and playing with the pig-spinner, and there are several out-loud laughs to enjoy the first time or two you go through the App.

Children literally will get hooked on the App and will want it read to them repeatedly (until they learn to read it by themselves and mimic the characters).

The App offers plenty of discussion opportunities about the ability to achieve even if you're the smallest or youngest, and illustrates how to recognize that bullies are nothing but hot air.


Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 16, 2012:

Hi, Jackie - Thanks for sharing that experience with us! I've been showing it to my friends who have little kids in their lives, and they're enchanted with it. I'm glad they didn't use the original storyline of the pigs getting eaten!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 16, 2012:

This is so cute, but it may scare a few but a little squeal would probably let us know. lol I have seen this used to get one little boy into ready and learning. It really does work.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 14, 2012:

Oh, you will LOVE this app, alocsin! I'm having fun with it - can't wait to share it with my favorite kiddos! Thanks for reading, and I hope your nephew enjoys the fun!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on August 14, 2012:

What a wonderful suggestion. I'll buy this for my nephew, whose parents already own an iPad. Voting this Up and Useful.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 14, 2012:

Thanks, Teaches - I'm in awe of the creative ways technology is being used for education!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 14, 2012:

It's hard to believe what our children have that we never dreamed of, isn't it, GiblinGirl? Wonder what will be available in 20 years? Thanks for your comments!

Dianna Mendez on August 14, 2012:

I think the use of apps to teach the love of reading is great. Today's generation learns differently and mostly through interaction. Following through on this learning method will only help to encourage the child to find reading enjoyable. Great hub topic.

GiblinGirl from New Jersey on August 14, 2012:

Wow this seems like a really cool app. I don't have any kids of my own yet, but I do know a few couples with young children who might enjoy this. It's amazing how kid-friendly technology is becoming.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 14, 2012:

Hi, Margie - thanks for the kind comments. I was very impressed at the learning opportunities this app offers. Hope you get a chance to see it in action sometime.

Mmargie1966 from Gainesville, GA on August 14, 2012:

I just love that you've taken modern technology and made it educational! (I know you weren't the first to do it) It just thrills me, however, since I was concerned about the video game craze that swept across the world.

Great job, as always...voted up and useful!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 14, 2012:

Thanks, Mhatter! I'm wishing I had some cute kids around to 'read' to; it's a very entertaining app!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 13, 2012:

Good review, thank you

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