The Story of Dracolino App Review
The Story of Dracolino is a delightful interactive storybook about a little dragon who is working to understand his feelings and how to respond to them. Young children can help the main character develop emotional competency.
- Interactive story changes with your child’s decisions
- Embedded interactions to build comprehension and other skills
- Professional narration and sound effects
- Additional activities and detailed parents’ guide available
- Font and language (English or Spanish) can be adjusted
The Story of Dracolino is a high quality app that addresses an important and often neglected part of children’s development-emotional competence. The app works as intended and is intuitive for the most part. The one suggestion I would make is to give a clear prompt as to what the child should do if he or she makes an incorrect choice on the first decision point (chooses “cry” instead of “talk to parents”). Right now, the story sort of dead-ends, and the child must deduce that the required action is to turn the page back to the decision point by using the left-hand page turning icon. A verbal prompt, similar to those used at other decision points, would be very helpful.
This app does a good job of helping children gain a better understanding of several important emotional concepts and skills, including how to handle embarrassment and developing the confidence to pursue hopes or dreams that are not quite in line with others’ expectations. By using a non-human main character, the developers have given children an emotionally safe method of processing these tough emotions, and the “correct” choices for Dracolino set a good example of self-control and self-confidence. The story sets a good example about how to handle these strong emotions.
In addition to the lessons taught by the story itself, the app does a good job of supporting other kinds of intellectual development. There are reading/listening comprehension exercises, self-expression activities, and more. The embedded suggestions for parents are also very well-conceived, and the protected parents’ section includes solid explanations and suggestions to help children learn about their emotions and strategies to express them appropriately.
This adorable little story is very entertaining, particularly for the target audience of young children. The pages include hidden surprises that readers can find by experimentation, and most also include extra activities such as comprehension questions, counting activities, musical notes, and more. The app also includes some basic games in addition to the story itself, which is a nice plus. Children can match facial expressions with common emotion words, practice tracing and coloring one of three illustrations from the story, record their voices, and try a quiz over the story.
The app is a good value, especially for children who need some guidance and support with understanding their feelings. It is appropriate for young children between the ages of approximately 3 and 7, and also would be useful for children with special needs who struggle with understanding feelings. The story has several decision points, and many children will enjoy trying out the various answers to see how their choices change the story. Most pages have activities to discover, and the three extra games add even more value.
This app is very child-friendly. There are no outside advertisements or in-app purchases. The Options section and the Parents’ Area are protected with an effective parent gate. The Options section contains choices about the app’s language (English or Spanish), the type of font used (Ariel Rounded or a mocked up form of cursive), the voices and sounds, and an option to reset the counters that show the number of successfully completed activities. The protected Parents’ Area has a guide for adults that explains the value of the app as well as offering suggestions for additional activities to support the learning before, during and after the reading. This protected area also contains links to social media, contact and rating forms, and a system to report errors in the program, as well as links to the developers’ and resource sites.