Pearl the Porcupine – App Recommendation

Pearl iphone cover

Title: Pearl the Porcupine

Creators: Tracey Berglund and Steve Holloway

Category: Books

Themes: Friendship, differences

Ages: 3-5

Platform: iPad and iPhone

Release Date: December 2012

Price: Free

Synopsis: Three different critters find themselves drawn to friendships beyond their own species. Pearl the porcupine and her friends Ralph, a timid turtle, and Cyril, a  centipede, become besties and promise to stand by each other through thick and thin. This promise is tested when an ominous storm threatens their survival.

Key Features:
  • Beautifully illustrated and animated
  • Gentle interactivity where young children can direct the app at their own pace
  • A lyrical narrated option
  • Originally composed music
  • Play Pearl Pachinko for Points

Why I like this app: The text and story are suitable for very young children, who will enjoy discovering more about centipedes, tortoises and porcupines as well as the individual idiosyncrasies of Pearl, Ralph and Cyril, each somewhat outsiders in their own communities. Friendship is at the heart of this story and their commitment to each other is endearing. The ending if full of colour, friendship and community. The humouros water colour illustrations are warm and quirky and support the text perfectly.

Pearl, Ralph and Cyril each have their own unique sounds, as do the: sun, trees, flowers, butterflies and birds. Calm background music plays throughout the self-read and read-to-me versions. The game, animation and audio additions are simple and suited to the very young. The animations are subtle and in no way detract from the story. The storm arrival and departure is dramatic, but the animation I liked most was using several fingers at once to animate a flock of birds and butterflies at the end – quite the flutter!

iphone2 Iphne3

If you have never looked at book apps for children, this is a great free one with which to start. The Pearl the Porcupine app will also be available in Spanish in a couple of weeks time.

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17 Responses to Pearl the Porcupine – App Recommendation

  1. Thank you for the recommendation, Joanna. We’re always looking for fun new apps!

  2. Joanna says:

    Kathy, your comment is under the first image, so I am reposting here. 🙂

    Kathy on February 12, 2013 at 10:15 am said: Edit
    I’m surprised at how brief it was but not familiar with the children’s book app world. Are they always this brief in content?

    Reply ?

    Joanna
    on February 12, 2013 at 10:22 am said: Edit
    Kathy, thanks for the question. This is based on the classic 32 page children’s picture book model (it is actually 28 pages), so yes, many apps are this length, especially if they have been adapted from a book. More complex apps for older children with more choice in the interactivity can be longer. I will be reviewing apps of different lengths over the coming months.

  3. Cute! I like Pearl, Cyril, and Ralph!

  4. This looks like a very engaging app for kids – and a lot of fun. Am glad you showed other pages. Great review.

  5. I went to download this story app. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Joanna says:

    Let me know what you think, Romelle.

  7. I love those drawings! Wish I had a 3-5 year old in the house to play this. Well…sort of…I’m glad my kids aren’t 3 and 5 anymore. 😉

  8. Joanna says:

    I know, I don’t often get to share what I review with kids, now I am no longer a librarian!

  9. What a wonderful service you are offering to parents! I wish I had young children in my life to refer to this page and this app. My grandchildren are avid readers and when they were younger, they would have loved this! Thank you for what you are giving!

    Susan Berland

  10. I didn’t even realize this was a blog! It looked like an ad. Since my kids are grown, I do not have much use for an app like this. However, I can see how parents would be attracted to it. Personally, I so enjoyed reading my kids real books and turning the pages. Even tho I teach social media and am very connected, there are some things that I think should remain old-fashioned!

  11. Oh, reading this post is dangerous to my iPhone and hubby’s iPad!! But one I’ll suggest for him, my two boys (6 and 3) would love this, especially the 3 year old 🙂

  12. Joanna says:

    Hope your three year old enjoys this, Louise!

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