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Book PlayTime from WiseCats:

Book playtime provides children with the opportunity to experience simple stories in two different ways. They can either watch the animated story play before them, or they can enter into the story and play inside it.

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Screen shot

Bookshelf

The app opens on a bookshelf that displays the books available for reading.

The first 6 books are 'standard' books or portion of the overall story, while the 7th is rather different to the rest.

Let's look first at how you can interact with one of the 'standard' books, and then look at the 7th one after that.

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PlayTime or Watch Screen

This screen is where you choose if you are going to watch the animated story or whether you are going to play within the story.

There are two big buttons labelled "Playtime" and "Watch". Touch the button corresponding to the option you wish to choose.

There is also a smaller "Home" button on the screen. Touching this button will take you back to the Opening Screen to select a different book within the overall story.

 
 

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Watching

If you choose the "Watch" option, then the book will be "read" to you in a musical voice, accompanied by upbeat music. Each book consists of 4 pages. The book is read through three times each time at a faster speed.

Each word is highlighted as it is said.

At the first 2 speeds, each page of the book is followed by an interlude in which one word from the page is repeated, whilst being presented on screen in handsigns and then as animated letters.

At the fastest speed, there is no interlude between pages.

The three readings of the book are followed by a singing of the "I'm reading" song, with the words of the song being highlighted on screen as they are sung.

Speed:

The screen in which the Stories are presented as they are read contains a "Speed" button. Touching this button will jump to the start of one of the different read-throughs of the book. So, if you find the first read-through of the book rather slow, then you can use the speed button to jump straight to the second, rather faster, read through, or to the third, even faster, read-through.

When on the '3' speed touching the button will take you back the slowest '1' speed.

Home:

A home button allows you to jump back to the "Playtime or Watch" screen at any time.

 
 
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Screen shot

Playing in the Story

Choosing the "Playtime" option in the "Playtime or Watch" screen drops you onto the first page of the book, presented in a screen with a number of buttons along the bottom.

Each page of each book has within it a number of labelled touchpoints. Touching one of these touchpoints will make an object in the page perfrom an action, accompanied by the word being said and a sound. (Note: Touching 'pop' will make the popcorn pop.)

The words on the page are also active - touching word will cause the word to be spoken while the word briefly flashes red and grows.

The buttons along the bottom of the screen are:

Next Page and previous Page:
These are the fingers at the the left and right of the screen. Touch the left-pointing finger to go back to the previous page; touch the right-pointing finger to go on to the next page.

In fact, the fingers enable you to go through the pages in an endless cycle. If you are on the first page of the book, the left-pointing finger takes you 'back' to the last page of the book; if you are on the last page, the right-pointing finger takes you 'forward' to the first page.

Rap:

Plays the current page, and its following handsign/growing letters interlude, just as that page is played in the "Watching" mode.

Sign:

Plays just the handsign/growing letters interlude associated with the current page.

Write:

Pops up a window in which the child can practice writing the letters of the highlighted word on the current page. They write the letters by tracing over with a finger. When they have finished writing, the letters they have written are displayed in the box that contains the highlighted word.

Home:

Takes you back to the "Playtime or Watch" screen at any time.

Screen shot
 
 
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The 7th story

This is a Watch-only option in which the "fast" readings of all the 6 books are combined into a single video.

A trio of Jazz-cats pop up and play a little trumpet motif between each of the books.

Another fun way to experience the story.

pop

Easy Parental Setup

To keep little hands out, parents have to answer a simple question to get into the settings screen. Parents can then set up:

Choice of hand sign alphabet:
Hand signing / finger spelling in addition to being used by the deaf community is useful for kinetic learners to learn to spell.

ASL- American Sign Language, single hand
BSL- British Sign Language, two handed

Spelling / Sounding Out: When writing words children can either hear the letter names or the sounds of the letters in this particular word.

Sounding Out - Using sounds of letter in this word Spelling Using the names of the letters

Choice of accent: You can choose the accent of this voice used. US, UK or NZ.

Note: These settings are then automatically saved for the next time the child plays the game.

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