Sign Me A Story is a delightful animated app that uses verbal, written and signing communication to tell an engaging story “GreenBeanies – One Cool Cat” by Valerie Carter. Key words are highlighted, which are interactive, touching them takes you to a separate web-browser to demonstrate the sign for that particular word. The story is the first in a series of stories and subsequent stories can be purchased for $1.99, which is great value. My son is 7 and non-verbal so the app was a little advanced for him but he did enjoy the animation.
Sign Me A Story is suitable for both girls and boys due to the two lovely lead characters in the story, Henry and CeCe. I like that it is an ongoing series with a cliffhanger at the end of the story to keep the audience engaged and wanting to keep reading to see what will happen in the next installment.
- The different modes of communication: written, verbal and signing
- The engaging story and characters
- The animation is interesting but does not result in a sensory overload
- Free to download – if your child does not like the first story, no money lost. If they love it, it’s only $1.99 for the next installment. You can’t go wrong!
- The separate “All Signs” menu allows the user to just focus and learning the signs for the key words in the story
- The separate signing videos need to be embedded in the story, switching to the web-browser does result in a loss of engagement due to switching between applications – developer has said this will be in the next update
- There is a sentence that is not read out in the “Read To Me” option: “The forest sounds send their lullaby to them.”
- It would be good if full sentences could go on a single page, some sentences are split across pages.
This is a pleasant, user-friendly app that would be suitable for children aged 6-12, depending on learning needs and development, which makes the “Read To Me” and “Read Myself” options very useful. “One Cool Cat” is the first story in the series and I can see it gathering some fans quite quickly with its fabulous characters and fun plot!
My daughter is 5 so she is younger than the intended audience. However, she still enjoyed playing with the app and I can see her gravitating towards this as she gains more reading skills. I had fun with it too actually and really appreciated how easy it was to pick up and learn the signed words. Not sure if the company has already considered, but if they ever put out apps for varying age ranges we would definitely be interested in buying for each of the kids.
- Engaging, even for younger children
- Options to have it read out loud or to read yourself
- Hotlinks to signed words
- Voice is pleasant with helpful inflection and pacing
- Audio to audio words being signed
- Larger or clearer font perhaps for use on iPod touch or option to change font size
- May be easier to read if words were above or below the image