'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 29 December 2013

Guest Post: Reviving Classic Dr. Seuss Characters to Teach Kids in the Digital Age

Kids' Book Review would like to extend a warm welcome to Shannon Valdes from Oceanhouse Media, a company that is sharing classic Dr. Seuss stories and characters in digital format. Shannon explains how Oceanhouse Media uses Dr Seuss stories and characters to engage, entertain and educate chlidren.

Dr. Seuss books are one of the most enduring series of all time. No matter your age, chances are you grew up reading The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, and your parents probably did too! So how is the good doctor keeping up with today’s generation of readers? He’s bringing his classic characters to the iPad with science-themed book apps.

Why did Dr. Seuss go digital? Check out these revealing statistics from a recent Common Sense Media study: Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013
  • Mobile media usage of kids ages zero to eight has tripled since 2011
  • Ownership of tablets has jumped from 8% to 40% among families with kids eight and under
  • 38% of toddlers and infants under two have now used mobile devices, as compared to 10% in 2011

As our world becomes more and more digital, many parents become overwhelmed and opt to remove devices from their children’s playtime for fear they will become screen zombies. At Oceanhouse Media, we believe that with the right apps you can inspire a love of learning and even encourage your kids to explore the great outdoors. Screen time doesn’t have to be so bad!

For example, the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series from Oceanhouse Media merges the whimsical rhymes, colorful illustrations, and familiar characters of Dr. Seuss with basic science concepts - everything from dinosaurs to butterflies, plant biology, and more - to get kids excited about science! Unlike traditional nonfiction science books, the apps draw kids into a fun story - whether it is hopping aboard the SS Ice Chopper for an icy cold expedition to the North and South Poles in Ice Is Nice, or taking to the high seas on Captain McElligot's Cetacean Station in A Whale of a Tale!.

Plus, each app comes fully loaded with interactive features - kids can tap around to explore diagrams, learn instant glossary words and seek out information cards from Thing 1 and Thing 2. There’s No Place Like Space invites children to peer through a telescope to explore the night sky and tap stars to complete constellations. Can your traditional science text book do that? We don’t think so! “Kudos to Oceanhouse Media for keeping my preschooler engaged and interested in learning about real-world science!" said Christie Dwyer of the Appy Ladies.

Still worried about screen time? With a little creativity, parents can utilize apps to complement tons of fun and educational activities away from the screen. For instance, try reading through I Can Name 50 Trees Today!: All About Trees with your kids and then going outside and seeing how many trees you can identify! Or, take Clam-I-Am!: All About the Beach in the car with you while you drive to your family beach vacation and learn all about the things you are about to see on the shore.

Like it or not, apps and iPads are becoming the norm for children today, so set yourself up for success by choosing apps that merge education and entertainment, keeping kids engaged yet feeding their brains at the same time. Start with the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library and get your kids excited about science while revisiting the whimsical spirit of Dr. Seuss!

Visit the Oceanhouse Media website for a full list of their ebook apps. You can also check out our reviews of several Oceanhouse Media ebooks including The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, The Lorax, What was I Scared Of? and Dr Seuss' ABC.