Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet for iPhone review
There is a myth that you can give any old tat to children and they will lap it up, simple minds unable to distinguish the good from the simply mediocre. Would be children's authors and illustrators should note, however, the young can make fine critics, ably capable of spotting a dud in an over crowded market place. The Apple Store 'Apps for Kids' selection currently has 50 pages of recommend apps, and much more can be found by digging a little deeper. It's a good guess that many of those apps on offer are adequate at best. Thankfully, the same cannot be said of Tapisodes Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet.
The combined talents of freelance animator Tom Baker (also responsible for Tapisodes/The Telegraph's excellent Alex app) and musician Al Sirkett bring the alphabet to life with 26 short animal themed animations, complete with sound effects and even a theme song of sorts. The look is reassuringly old fashioned, seemingly hand drawn and crafted, which in our view sets the app apart from more digital looking apps aimed at a similar audience. The animations are particularly attractive and should appeal to just about anyone who appreciates a talent to draw.
Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet is primarily an interactive tool for learning the alphabet and taking the first steps towards reading. Just tap your way in your own time from one letter and animation to the next to advance from A to Z. The developers explain there are three play options, each designed to engage children and encourage learning in different ways, including scrolling through the animal alphabet, selecting a favourite animal and a quiz. While Tapisodes notes a universal update will add HD animations shortly, Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet currently looks pretty impressive on the iPad using the x2 function, with little in the way of blurring or pixelation.
Even for a middle aged Macworld journalist, Charles Peattie's Animal Alphabet proves intuitive and easy to master, and no doubt children should have little difficulty in making the most of this attractive and let's hope educational app. A visual and audio pleasure, the deceptively simple graphics and sounds are lovingly rendered, while the theme song from Al Sirkett is worthy of any iTunes collection.