Friday, April 18, 2014

APP REVIEW: StoriesAlive

If your child is anything like TV Boy, they aren't yet too keen on just sitting down with a book and flipping through. No, it has to be something with technology! It has to be animated, moving, musical, etc. It has to be entertaining. A book made of paper cannot be that... not just yet.

Enter the StoriesAlive App, available for iOS and Android platforms. You can have it on your phone, your iPad, your Galaxy, or whatever you prefer to hand your children for digital entertainment time... even Nabi systems! The app features bestselling storybooks by popular authors with more arriving all the time.

My friends at StoriesAlive shared a demo of the popular New York Times Bestseller "On The Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman in my demonstration, so that's what I wanted to feature here.

You can customize the story with your child's name, which you can also record so that various characters in the story can actually say it aloud, as well as your child's picture so their face can appear in the stars! The story is read aloud to the child and the pages have interactive characters on them that the child can make dance, sing, and fly.

It also features soothing music behind the story, so that your child can easily be read this story with you at bedtime. It also showcases the beautiful artwork from the actual story book.

There are several other fill-in-the-blank digital scrapbooks that your child can fill out about themselves, their family, their home, their pets and more!

StoriesAlive has also already won numerous awards!

I wasn't sure that TV Boy was going to like it when I first heard about it. He really doesn't gravitate towards the educational apps he has and while he does like having stories read to him, he doesn't tend to sit still for something that isn't Minecraft related. However, StoriesAlive held his attention enough that he read three stories all the way through the first time he sat down with it. The navigation is also easy enough that he had no problem figuring out how to choose a book, and choose whether it was read to him by a narrator or set so that he can touch the words and have them said as he did so. Plus, we don't need to be on wifi once the books were downloaded, so it makes it easily portable to places that don't offer wifi like doctors offices and in the car.

The app download itself is FREE and comes with six free trial titles. However, for a subscription price of $7.99 a month (or there is a $29.99 for six months option that lowers the price to $4.99 per month), families get unlimited access to the ever growing library of titles. See the FAQ page for more information. It is available for tablets with a screen size of 7" or larger that support iOS6 or above and Android platforms, including the Nabi.

All in all, I'm impressed with it. It gets TV Boy interested in reading as well as learning to read, and those are wins in my book! (And it's not Minecraft! Woohoo!) Thanks to all my friends at StoriesAlive for sharing this with our family!

Disclosure: A free trial of the app was provided for review purposes. Please see my Disclosures tab for more information.

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