Since buying an iPad back in 2011, I’ve downloaded hundreds of interactive books for my daughter as well as my students. Most of the books I downloaded were free. However, if a book had that re-readability factor, I wouldn’t mind paying.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of problems with most interactive books. For example, the story didn’t match the pictures. The pictures were intended for a preschool child but the text was more for an upper elementary student. Another problem was the amount of distractions on each page. I believe that being able to interact with the book is great, however, the interactions should fit the storyline. Finally, my biggestest problem with these books were the Ads. I understand that developers are trying to make money, but when you incorporate inappropriate ads into a children’s book you should have your app taken down from the store. To make things worse the ads are placed in such a way that trick kids into pressing them. This bothered me so much that I stopped downloading interactive books for my daughter and students.
I’m not saying that all interactive books are like this. There are some out there that don’t have ads and are fun to read. It’s too bad that the number of books with these poor qualities out number the ones that don’t.
Pillowcapers: A Sleepy Adventure
The second term of our Korean elementary schools started in September. For me that meant my daughter was back in first grade and if you’ve read my past post it meant that it was time to read English stories to her class. Once a week I read an English story to my daughter’s class. I use my iPad because the school has a big screen TV in the class, which makes it easier to reach all the students.
After scouring the App Store for a new book I came across Pillowcapers. The book was $2.99 so I decided I should check the reviews before making the purchase. Unfortunately, there were only a couple of reviews online, however, both reviews were positive.
The story is about a young boy named Sam. Sam receives an usual gift for his birthday, a pillow case. At night the pillow case comes alive and transports Sam to a secret underground base. There he becomes a Pillowcaper, a crime fighting superhero.
What I loved about the book. I’m a huge fan of rhyming books for young readers. I’ve been reading Dr. Seuss books to my daughter since she was an infant. Children often learn the lyrics to songs before they can read. One of the reasons I believe this to be true is because songs have easy to follow rhyming patterns. Pillowcapers follows a similar rhyming pattern to Dr. Seuss books, making it easier to read for beginning readers.
Engaging young readers can be tough. My daughter loves to be read to, but when I ask her to read to me she usually refuses. My daughter struggles with reading in part because she is a multicultural child. She speaks Korean and English fluently. However, she is a little behind in English because she attends a Korean elementary and spends most of her day with her Korean grandmother. I Introduced the Pillowcapers story to her elementary class last week. Even though most of the students do not understand English, they were totally captivated for the 15 minutes it took me to get through the book. After school my daughter way dying to read the book and share it with her mom! What makes this book so captivating are the animations. Each page has creative animations which bring the story to life. You also have the choice to read the book on your own or have it read to you. The pages have a unique way of being turned. They feel a little sticky at first but after a few turns I really liked how they worked. The story itself is great! I really liked how Sam solved the problems he faced! I believe it would be a book that most parents would enjoy reading with their kids.
What I would like to see in future books
My students and I are really excited that there will be future Pillowcapers Adventures. We received the photo below which includes Sam, Dayton and Hazel. My daughter is really excited to read about Hazel.
What I would love to see in future books would be the option to touch words and have them read. This is a must feature for young and ESL or EFL readers. Also, what ever happened to choose your own adventure books? I believe a choose your own adventure story from Pillowcapers would be a hug hit!
You can check the book out on the App store!