I’ve always loved Ladybird books since young. They have so many classic stories and I recall I owned a series of hardback books with a ladybird on the side. Now Ladybird have turned some classic tales into ebooks. Ebooks have become increasingly popular nowadays as you have the potential to bring your whole library of books along on your travels. I personally have so many different ebooks for children on my iPad already. So what makes Ladybird so unique?
In this Read it Yourself with Ladybird App, there are 50 titles in the series and they are carefully graded into four levels that progressively introduce a wider vocabulary and longer stories as a reader’s ability improves. It is suitable from Reception to Year 2.
- Level 1: For children who are ready to take their first steps in reading.
- Level 2: For beginner readers who can read short, simple sentences with help.
- Level 3: For more confident readers who can read simple stories with help.
- Level 4: For children who are ready to read longer stories with a wider vocabulary and are eager to start reading independently.
The App costs £1.99 to purchase with four stories included. It consists of The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Level 1), Pirate School (Level 2), The Elves and the Shoemaker (Level 3) and The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Level 4) with the others (includes famous fairytales as well as stories from brands like Peppa Pig and Moshi Monsters) available as £1.99 in-app purchases. Once the app is downloaded, you will find four ebooks. Click on the book you want and there are three options: Read it Myself; Read it to Me and Delete. Once clicked it will then download/loading which takes about 30 seconds. Before the story begins, there is a parent/carers/teachers guide for reference/ideas.
Both of my children find it very easy to navigate the ebooks with ease. They both prefer to listen to stories than read it themselves.
For the Read it Myself, you are able to record your own story by tapping the record button. As both of my children are not able to read confidently yet, I tried this myself. It is very straightforward to record and play. The only trouble is when I tried to click the word to pronounce it, the menu bar appears which makes it hard to click and listen to the word. It is quite annoying if a child is not sure how to pronounce the word, he/she won’t be able to click it to listen to it. I also found that the font is too small. It would be great if the font size is slightly bigger for Level 1 – 3 books.
For the Read it to Me, the words will turn blue when the narrator reads them out. The narrator speaks very clearly and in a steady speed. It is very enjoyable listening to him.
It seems a bit strange to give universal access to the third option, to Delete the book. We did try this, and the books can be downloaded back again so I think this option must be there just to save space on your iPad.
In summary, these are classic stories from great books and are inexpensive to buy. There are plenty to choose from and the illustrations are beautiful and colourful. I personally love classic stories like The Gingerbread Man and The Three Little pigs while my children would love the Charlie and Lola and Peppa Pig stories!
Disclosure: We have received a code to download this app for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.