Available in the App Store

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Perky Pranksters: Have Fun in the Country, an iPad only e-book with games, is a fun way to teach your child about life on the farm. It has been designed with young children and beginning readers in mind.

Genie, Dapper and Rex are three friends who decide to take a trip to the countryside. Their trip is chronicled nicely in the e-book portion of the app. The e-book is broken out into mini-stories that flow well together.

Each page contains a few interactive objects related to the story. Some interactive objects make sounds; others display the word as it is read aloud. In some instances the interactive objects can be touched repeatedly; in others, only once. My little tester wanted to be able to repeat the actions a couple of times before moving onto the next page.

Whether using the “Read to Me” or “Read it Myself” options, the navigation features built into the app are wonderful. Page turn arrows, a home button and a page thumbnails button are available on every page. Also, available is a button to show which objects are interactive.

Text highlighting, a sentence at a time, is a standard feature in the “Read to Me” option. The speed of the narration is good for beginning readers and it is clear and easy to understand; she does a nice job changing her voice for the different characters. The narration only plays one time. It would be nice if you could touch the block of text and have the narration repeated.

The author has taken an interesting approach in telling the story by providing two verses embedded in the picture of each page with full-story text at the bottom. The rhyming verses are meant to be entertaining while the full-story text more educational.

Peppy music is played when on the main menu, bright colors are used in the illustrations for the book and games and the app’s interface is intuitive.

Fun and Games contains six different games. In Meet the Pranksters, a short description is given for the three main characters from the story, you then need to find the characters. The Colouring Book, pictures from the story your child can paint and save to your Photos library. Dress Up Games is just as it sounds, you dress up the three characters; choosing from hats, wigs, glass and so on, also with the option to save it to your Photos. Musical Fun allows the children to play around with a tuba to see how it can be used to make different sound effects; such as a horse galloping or trotting, a camel, etc. In the Rhyming Games, presented with three options your child will need to choose the one that rhymes with the word provided. The last game is sure to be a hit, most kids love to record their voices. Kids are allowed to record a 10 second clip using the microphone in Record Your Voice.

Perky Pranksters does contain external links and social media buttons. The social media buttons are tucked away in an information menu; however, the menu button is designed in a way that attracts the user’s attention and is located directly between the two story options on the main screen. Ideally, it would be moved or protected so that young users would not notice it or be able to access it, accessing it could cause them to exit the app. An external link is also located at the end of the story, while the link is text, not a button; if the child touches it they will exit the app.

Bottom line

Perky Pranksters: Have Fun in the Country contains six games and an e-book that is entertaining, yet will teach young readers about life on the farm.

The Perky Pranksters books are many things rolled into one, being entertaining and educational as well as encouraging the child to develop many important skills.

THE CHARACTERS – Genie a very mischievous young cat who is always on the look out for a prank to play. Dapper is a more well-mannered and sensible cat and he does his best to teach Genie some good manners and habits. However, he is not above taking part in the fun and games with Genie. Rex the dog is a bit absentminded and prefers to stay out of trouble, which isn’t always possible when Genie and Dapper are around.

In the first book Genie, Dapper and Rex learn much about life in the countryside, not all of it pleasant, as Genie finds out when she tries to tease a very large bull – but she manages to escape from harm in the end. Her attempt to go horse riding also ends … well, not exactly as she expected! Lambs and haymaking, “Happy Eggs” and a misunderstanding about a ghost also feature in this first book.

Regular Price: $3.99