written by Tish Rabe
2013 (Oceanhouse Media)
Source: Copy provided by the publisher
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Usually cats and birds don't mix, but The Cat in the Hat is no ordinary feline and he arrives as a tour guide to the world of our feathered friends. The Cat starts by pointing out similarities among most birds. I like the labels and bold print for vocabulary on the first screen. The information is fairly basic, but since this app is targeted towards very young learners, this fits quite well. There isn't a ton of nonfiction for the preschool crowd, and wouldn't you rather have them playing with an entertaining informational text app as opposed to some insipid game? Tish Rabe also manages to create rhymes for the information which is not an easy task. I think this will make the app more appealing to the target audience.
The Cat shows Dick and Sally that birds can get their names from what they do, how they look, or the song that the bird sings. I wasn't familiar with the flycatcher which would be a good bird to have on hand for a picnic. A later screen features several sounds that birds make. Young app users will enjoy touching all of the sound words, but I would have liked to have heard actual bird sounds as opposed to a human making the sounds. A small section on geese migration and other sections on exotic birds like kiwis, emperor penguins and whooping cranes will also catch the attention of app users.
Fine Feathered Friends is an excellent gateway into the world of informational text for a preschool student. With the Read to Me option, children will be able to review the text several times independently. For the price of a paperback book, this app is a good option for parents looking to introduce informational text to their preschool child.