Auracle – Fossil is a lovely adaptation of the book of the same name, now including highlighted narration and auto play, as well as allowing readers a chance to read this book on their own, tapping words they may have trouble with to hear them spoken as well. Both iPad as well as iPhone versions are available.
Fossil tells the story of a girl finding a fossil on the beach, and the story of where her mind goes as she imagines this dinosaur alive long ago, as well as the process that this bone must have taken to be transformed into a fossil.
Fossil is beautifully illustrated with striking water colors, as these original illustrations found in the published book work quite well in terms of translating these paintings. Here, the double page spreads from the book are formatted to fit the screens without losing much real-estate, allows readers to see both these pages together without the need to pan and scan, a feature that works in other apps, yet is simply not necessary here.
Written in a lyrical style, this app may be some children’s first introduction to poetry as well as dinosaur fossils. Because of this, I do appreciate how the verses are short and can be found only one per page, making the reading of this poem as easy for young readers as possible.
Not being a straight narrative, younger children may need help interpreting the girl’s dinosaur fantasy as well as some of the action found within. Therefore, this may be an app to share with children – something parents will be happy to do as this story is in general well-crafted as it is educational both in terms of dinosaurs as well as of language.
I am glad that Fossil has been developed into an application, giving readers who may not have known about this book by Claire Ewart a chance to read this interesting story, now with some interactive elements as one can touch objects found throughout these ages for them to be labeled, both with text as well as narration – a nice touch, especially when tapping the dinosaurs. I do think the narration, nicely done while reading this story, speaks the specific dinosaur names such as “Ornithocheirus” rather quickly, as does the word which flashes on the screen. It would be nice if these words could be pronounced slower and remained on the screen a bit longer in a future update.
All in all, this is a book that dinosaur families will enjoy, as will children who enjoy poetry – especially children who show interest in both.
Fossil is an interactive story for curious kids and budding scientists which talks about stones that once were dinosaur bones. An archaeological narrative by Claire Ewart. (iPhone Version, by Auryn Apps)
Developer: Auryn Inc.
Released: 2012-07-25 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperWhen dinosaurs thundered across the land, and enormous reptiles swam in the salty oceans, reptiles called Ornithocheirus, part of the Pterosaur family, ruled the ancient skies. Claire Ewart transports readers back to the age of the dinosaurs to take flight with a majestic Ornithocheirus that once soared through North American skies more than ninety million years ago, following it from sunup to sunup. And when the Ornithocheirus finally lives out its natural life, layers of Earth and layers of time work to transform this creature into a fossil - an amazing transformation that happens over millions of years.
Fossil is a part of the Auracle line from Auryn Inc. The app is based on Claire Ewart’s book by the same name.
▶ KEY EDUCATIONAL THEMES:
-Take your child to the Mesozoic Era, teach about Dinosuars, their existence and extinction.
-Learn why and how dinosaurs have now become a stone.
▶ EXTEND THE LEARNING! ASK YOUR CHILD:
- What do you picture dinosaurs as?
- What do you think dinosaurs ate?
▶ ENHANCE CREATIVITY BY PERSONALIZING THE STORY:
- You can write your own version of the text for the book
- Personalize the narration: kids or parents can re-record the narration to make it their own!
▶ DEVELOP READING SKILLS WITH THESE LITERACY TOOLS:
- Image and word association vocabulary builder - when an image on the screen is touched, the associated word is spoken and the written word is displayed.
- Karaoke effect - when a word is spoken during narration then the word is highlighted.
- Touch a word to hear it being spoken in “Read Myself” mode (almost like “training wheels” for new readers)
▶ THREE WAYS TO READ THE BOOK:
1) "Read to me" - Listen to the narrated story while the text is displayed Karaoke style. After the narration finishes on a page the child can interact with objects until they are ready to move to the next page.
2) "Auto Play" - same as "Read to Me" except the page advances automatically once the narration is finished. Useful for those long car rides when you want the child to have a complete book experience.
3) "Read myself" - There is no narration but the child can touch a word to hear it being spoken aloud.
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