With a device like the iPad, users have access to a wealth of information and reading material. Unfortunately, it can be easy to forget about stuff that may be appropriate for a child. Especially a younger child whose mind is still developing. We’ve heard many times that the iPad can be used as an educational tool, which is wonderful. However, we don’t want to sound too preachy when we say this, but it’s ultimately up to the parent to ensure that the child is learning and understanding the content they are being shown. Otherwise, any device, no matter how much technology you cram into it, may not accomplish a thing.
Cosmo’s Day Off
That said, there are Apps out there that strive to give parents an iPad experience they can share with their children, such as interactive books. We were given a code for Cosmo’s Day Off, and decided to take a look at what it had to offer.
It takes us back to the interactive point-and-click storybooks we used to see in the mid-90s. Of course those were far less advanced and they came on CD-ROMS (if you still remember those). They often featured stories with interactive backgrounds where the reader would learn basic mouse commands as well as comprehension and reading skills.
Now, it’s all on an iPad with a touchscreen that makes it much easier for a child’s hand to interact with story. They can point to various objects placed throughout the screen and hear them make sounds or tell a part of the story. For instance, the story’s main character, an little green alien by the name of John Cosmo, has to refuel his ship on his way to work, and touching his character will initiate a voiceover in which he talks about his vehicle running low on fuel.
Some of the interactive objects turn into minigames like puzzles and color/pattern memorization games. They are not nearly enough to keep anyone over the age of eight occupied for very long, but kids six and under will probably love the sense of discovery that comes with exploring each page.
One of the highlights of the story is accelerometer-based. It’s a page where the viewer can pan around the page by tilting the iPad up, down, left and right.
We are left with one question, and it may be nitpicking. However, we do wonder if it would have been best to focus on a younger alien for a story like this one. Someone the kids could relate to. This story is about an alien going to work.
An example of one of the beautiful illustrations you will see in the book
It’s colorful, cute and has plenty of interactive pictures to keep a young one interested. It’s a fun way to get together with your child and have them enjoy reading with you, and that alone is worth more than the $3.99 asking price.
The target age group is rather small, so don’t expect kids beyond second grade to get much out of it.
The story is fun, and kids will love it. You will love reading alongside your kid. Unlike games or utility-type applications, this App is only as good as the time you make with it.
Second Opinion: Our editor’s son gives Cosmo’s Day Off his stamp of approval.