July 20, 2011
Oceanhouse Media, Soundprints, and the Smithsonian Institution come together to bring part of the Smithsonian Oceanic Collection to life in a wonderful eBook that will go great in your digital children's book collection. Written by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck, Penguin's Family is a delightful documentary-style story about the birth and early life of a Humboldt Penguin. As you page through beautifully drawn scenes of the West Coast of South America, both you and your child will learn neat facts about how Mother and Father Penguin need to protect and prepare Baby Penguin for a life of hunting, defending, and playfully swimming on his own. The app has three ways to experience the story: "Read it Myself" allows reading and viewing the material in the same manner that traditional books would offer, "Read to Me" highlights each word as it is professional narrated, and "Auto Play" adds narration but also automatically turns the page when it is completed. This is a nice feature for very young children, or to just make the experience a little more like a movie. Some additional features to help promote reading and provide even more enjoyment include words that are spoken and zoom up when pictures are touched, custom background audio for each scene, plus fun animations and sounds to help pages come alive. A wonderful combination of capabilities to complement the gorgeous nature artwork of Daniel J. Stegos. Penguin's Family - Smithsonian Oceanic Collection is a universal app compatible with iOS 3.0 or later, and available in the App Store for $2.99.
Penguin's Family - Smithsonian Oceanic Collection