David Wiesner’s Spot App Review
David Wiesner’s Spot is a visual marvel that will lead users through fantastical wordless worlds that encourage exploration, story-telling, and curiosity. It’s much more than a digitalized wordless picture book; it harnesses the unique capabilities of the iPad to offer an experience all its own.
- Gorgeous and unique artwork
- Vivid scenes that will elicit language
- Creative use of pinch function on the device
- Suitable for all ages and developmental abilities
- Detailed parents’/teachers’ guide with dozens of activity ideas
David Wiesner’s Spot is a high-quality app that will delight and intrigue users of all ages. It represents a quantum leap forward from digitalized wordless picture books because the user can take countless paths through the worlds. It does take some initial experimentation to figure out how to best move around, but once you have the basics figured out, you are literally equipped to travel between the five worlds at will.
This app is incredibly open-ended and will be just as educational as the users wish it to be. The developers claim it will develop executive function, creative expression, language and literacy, and more, and they have underestimated its power. One of the app’s best attributes is that it is only limited by the user’s imagination. Not many devices or systems can make that claim.
To get an idea of the possibilities, be sure to download the companion guide, available for free in iBooks. The link is in the Parents’ Section of the app. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the app and with the guide before you introduce it to young users, because it might be a bit easy to get “stuck,” not knowing what is expected. A more structured introduction will benefit most children, but once they realize the possibilities, they will take off running with it.
The app invites interaction by showing hot spots where users employ the outward pinch motion generally used on the iPad to zoom in to see a larger image. Make this motion where you see the hot spots, and you can keep zooming in closer and closer until an entirely new world appears, complete with scenes, characters, and even some interactive fun. Each world contains at least portal to another world, so it is possible to move smoothly between them. The worlds have commonalities, as well as vast differences. There are a group of traveling aliens that seem to be sightseeing, lady bugs galore, and many more things to find. Children will be especially intrigued with the Cat World, the real-life Dust Bunnies that live under the furniture, and the undersea world that includes a diligent effort to pull the plug on the ocean floor.
Each place is designed to elicit language and encourage narration, so all the adults will need to do is facilitate, and perhaps take notes or make a recording. The companion iBook guide will start you off with a selection of games, activities, conversation starters, and story ideas, but there are certainly far more possibilities than are listed. Let your imagination go!
Because of its unique design, it will be difficult to take the same path through the worlds twice. It seems like there are always new corners to explore, new scenes to see, and new characters to discover. Any child with an ounce of curiosity will remain entranced with David Wiesner’s Spot and will return to it again and again. The best use, perhaps, is just to play together with your child and let the story take you where it will. An awful lot of learning happens in informal conversations like the ones encouraged by this app.
David Wiesner’s Spot is a good value. For a few dollars’ investment, it’s quite likely you will get an app that the entire family will enjoy on several levels. It provides not only opportunities for learning, but also for communication, sharing, and even a measure of closeness that most people crave, no matter what their ages.
This app is child friendly. There is a protected Parents’ Area that is accessed by swiping two fingers in the random direction stated on the instructions, and the instructions appear and disappear so rapidly that it would be difficult for young users to read them in time to access the area.
- Protected parent area (contains external links and access to social media)
- Companion parent/educator guide available for free
- NO external links
- NO social media
- NO in-app purchase
- NO 3rd party ads