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Sunday, August 10 2014 21:02

Hands-On: Books and Apps Come Together with TOTALLY MONSTER & PRETEND AND PLAY...

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51FXc2r3QbLEarlier this summer, Silver Dolphin Books and Skyreader Media teamed-up to launch a new series of Apps based on the popular TOTALLY MONSTER and PRETEND AND PLAY series' of board books for children under 5. While the Apps are available now as e-Books for the Apple iPad, we haven't experienced those since I've been maintaining my Apple-less stance and use none of their products aside from iTunes. But, news of their existence made a prime time for my little ones and I to take a peek at a couple of the books (TOTALLY MONSTER: BEST FRIENDS, and PRETEND AND PLAY: ON THE FARM), sent to Rock Father HQ by the folks at Silver Dolphin. They were well-received by my girls (particularly TOTALLY MONSTER), and make for some fun reading...

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Overview: The TOTALLY MONSTER Series:

The Rock Father says: Fun flap books filled with fantastic illustration. While it might be "friends" being discussed in ours, the message could easily apply to siblings, which is how it was absorbed here with my girls.

The Publisher says:

In Totally Monster: Best Friends (Amazon | iTunes), the two little monsters reinforce the message of what it means to be, and have, a best friend and how best friends stick together through anything. Children will learn how great it is to have a best friend to the end through the monsters’ high jinx and fun adventures.

In Totally Monster: Feelings (Amazon | iTunes), children learn that monsters can be blue and have good and bad days, just like us. Young children can learn to identify and express their feelings and emotions along with the monsters in this imaginative book.

And in Totally Monster: Manners (Amazon | iTunes), children learn that it’s important for everyone, even monsters, to have good manners. Children will enjoy the antics of the monsters as they learn how to be polite, help out, and make friends, and how much more fun it can be when we all play together.

pretendandplayOverview: The PRETEND AND PLAY Series:

The Rock Father says: Puzzle books with a pop-up feature at the end, our ON THE FARM installment hit the sweet spot for Little Finley (2) with a nice mix of counting, matching and inquisitive play thrown into the mix. Very nice construction, too.

The Publisher says:

Pretend and Play: Toolbox (Amazon | iTunes) where youngsters help to build a new birdhouse for Birdy. By selecting the correct tools—a saw, hammer, screwdriver, or pliers—to complete the on-screen images, app users learn the different jobs that each tool performs as well as how each job is important to completing the project. The end result, a stunning 3-D birdhouse, is reward for a job well done in addition to the personal satisfaction of completing the project!

Pretend and Play: Firefighter (Amazon | iTunes), a captivating introduction to the heroic tasks that firefighters perform.  Children assist the app’s firefighter in saving the day by choosing the correct element for putting out a kitchen fire, saving pets from a burning home, and removing a fallen tree. The app imparts elementary fire safety in addition to an understanding of some of the many elements used by real-life firefighters. Upon completion of the challenge, children are rewarded with the creation of their own 3-D fire truck.

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51Cg2gBBZ7LPretend and Play: On the Farm (Amazon | iTunes), where children are transported to Farmer Jack’s farm for a tour that includes a variety of adorable farm animals. From the smallest field mouse hiding in the barn’s hayloft to the tall brown horse peeking over his stall door, every animal has something to say. Children learn about animals as they select the correct animal to complete the image and also engage in small counting games—such as how many butterflies can they see among the cows—helping to build numeracy skills.  A 3-D barn is revealed at the end of the adventure.

To learn more about these books at more, check out Silver Dolphin on Facebook, Twitter and their official site.

Rock Father-Approved!
James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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