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Children’s Books

    Rooftops: An Interactive Children’s Book

    A book about balancing real life and technology
    The launch screen of Rooftops interactive book app

    In our digital world there is a big, ongoing discussion about the balance of technology and in person interaction in our lives. This applies to all ages but like a lot of things the debate heats up when it concerns our children. A lot argue that too much screen time is detrimental to children’s growth both educationally and socially. But with the right balance you can use technology to your kid’s advantage. Join us as we enter the wonderful world of Rooftops.

    The Story

    Inside kevin's room, he is focused on his tablet
    Inside Kevin’s Room

    This book starts by showing the main character, Kevin, glued to his iPad. However, he forgets to do his homework and loses the privilege of using it. In the absence of his tablet he starts looking out the window of his room and seeing all the rooftops in the city. He starts seeing interesting things that eventually make him want to go explore outside.

    His parents take him out for a walk and head to the neighborhood park. There Kevin gets to interact with other kids who also see fun things from their windows. At the end Kevin learns that there are fun things to do that don’t include his tablet and is excited about exploring the world around him.

    Rooftops Trailer

    Features

    • Listen to the animated story, with narration, music, and sounds
    • Fun, interactive animations throughout the story
    • READ TO ME & READ BY MYSELF functions
    • Play a simple, create-your-own window game
    • Suitable for ages 4-8
    • Absolutely no in-app purchases, hidden costs, or in-game adverts. Perfect for Kids!
    • Created especially for the iPad
    Kevin at the playground

    The Developer

    Rustbot Studios is a brand new studio founded by two brothers, Juan and Carlos. They are primarily focused on developing applications that tell stories and Rooftops is their first children’s book.

    We at Rustbot Studios believe in the positive impact of technology when used responsibly and in accordance with more traditional, healthy habits. We don’t believe in demonizing mobile tech, which is a ubiquitous, complex, and relatively new interactive experience that cannot be shunned with blanket statements without considering all its nuances and implications for the future of the human experience, especially at an early age.

    Juan Santiago, co-founder of Rustbot Studios
    A sneezing chimney

    What’s Divine Say?

    As a parent who’s glued to my own technology, this is definitely a topic that I’m doing my best to instill good habits in my kids with. Balancing outside, learning time, and screen time can be difficult – especially when your child latches onto a piece of tech.

    My eldest, now four, has had a kid’s Kindle since he was 1 and he played baby apps on my old first gen iPad prior to that. (You know, those baby apps you just smack to interact with? lol) He now has to do sight words and have outside or non-screen play time every day in order to earn his video game or Kindle time. (He just got the new 10″ Kindle for his birthday he’s super hyped about!). Luckily he’s not so attached to it that it’s an issue when we cut down screen time.

    I think that this book is a great way to illustrate to kids the idea of balance and try to excite them about the world outside a screen. Hopefully that the developer makes many more to tackle even more hard to explain concepts early on. The art for this was great and the options for narration and reading along are great. I would definitely read these kinds of books with my kids in the future.

    Get the App

    Grab the app on the App Store and read it with your kiddos today!

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    Apps, Books, Featured
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    Care for Our World

    CareforOurWorldGameTheMommyGamers

    My daughter Amber and I received a copy of Care for Our World, an interactive storybook app for iPad, and we had a blast playing around with it. Care for Our World, written by Karen Roberts, was originally published as a book in 2012. It included punch-out animals for children to play with. Sunbreak Games, have brought that creative play to the app with features like Habitat Playset (Amber’s favorite feature) where children can use interactive stickers to create their own animal habitats, Coloring Book where you can color a scene from the book almost anyway you want to, and Animal Encyclopedia where your child can learn about all of the animals mentioned in the story as well as hear what they sound like, and see pictures of them in the real world.

     


    The actual storybook part of the app is well done for the most part, and is highly interactive. Nearly everything you touch has a reaction, and narration. The colors are vivid, and the illustrations are whimsical. In fact, the only thing that didn’t sit well with me was the narration. In my opinion, when you have a story with words that are rich and full of life, you should strive to have a narrator that matches them with their voice. Unfortunately, in this case the narrator falls a little flat, and while his voice is not unpleasant, he’s not far enough away from monotone for my liking. I also feel that since the app is geared for ages 3-8, not having an option for narration in the, Animal Encyclopedia section of the app was a missed opportunity, as younger children will need someone to read for them.

    Overall, I think Care for Our World is lovely, and has a great deal of replay value for children. It is well worth the $2.99 investment. You can download it now on the iOS App Store by clicking here.

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