The Happy Dandelion Interactive Reading Apps - Mrs. B's First Grade

The Happy Dandelion Interactive Reading Apps

As a 1:1 iPad teacher I am constantly looking for great apps. They can be hard to come by because there are literally thousands upon thousands out there. When Josh Wilson from The Happy Dandelion reached out to me to see if my students wanted to try some of their interactive storytelling apps, I excitedly said yes!

I received this product for free to provide an honest review.  All opinions expressed within this post are genuine and impartial. 
Josh and his wife Donna are a husband-wife team behind The Happy Dandelion. Among other things, they create Interactive Reading Apps. They sent me four apps to try out in our classroom. The apps were; The Boy who liked Pink & The Girl who liked BlueA to Sea, The UnStealer, and Little Lamb in Amsterdam.

Each of the four apps were interactive storytelling apps. This means the app is a picture book, but the user can interact with it. Each time my students and I opened the apps, we found new ways to interact.

As a teacher, I appreciated that my young students were able to touch the words on the pages to hear the story read aloud. They could read along with the narrator and be exposed to words they might not have in books they are reading at an independent level.

I also appreciated how each of the apps had several learning opportunities to them. There are clear social-emotional messages along with fun facts for the students to learn.

My students were beyond impressed with the illustrations and sounds in the app. They were engaging and brought the readers in. They didn't even realize all the skills they were working on.

We used the apps in a variety of ways. We read and listened as a class during our read aloud time, students used the apps independently during their reading time, and I looked at the apps with a small group of students.

Another perk? The apps have no in-app purchases, advertising, external links, or access to social media. Perfect for the classroom!

The Boy Who Liked Pink and The Girl Who Liked Blue
The Boy Who Liked Pink and The Girl Who Liked Blue is perfect for today's discussions of gender stereotypes. The interactive app has you follow a conversation between a boy and girl. They both give reasons and opinions as to why they prefer one color over the other. In the end, they realize they have more in common than they think. This app is perfect for teaching that kids can be whatever they want to be.

A to Sea is an alphabet book with GORGEOUS illustrations that come to life. The animals included for each letter are unique and interesting to both kids and adults. Each page comes with a fun hidden fact that you can choose to reveal or not. My students were mesmerized by this one. It was perfect for our read aloud and led to great discussions.

The UnStealer
The UnStealer once again combines beautiful illustrations with a positive message for students. The UnStealer is a thief who steals the "un" from descriptive words which helps to turn a negative situation into a positive one. 

My students loved the part of the book where the UnStealer helps Chompy the dog. "Chompy was quite an unfriendly dog and he was untrained too." The UnStealer comes to steal the "un" away and Chompy turns into a dog who is kind to the mailman and rescues cats! It took a bit for my students to understand what the UnStealer was doing, but once they did they connected with it.

Little Lamb in Amsterdam
Little Lamb in Amsterdam is about a lamb exploring the Netherlands. Little Lamb lives on a farm in a small village. She is curious what is outside her gate, so she decides to go explore. She hops on her purple bike, puts on her pink helmet, and sets off. The app takes the reader on Little Lamb's adventure. Each page includes hidden facts about The Netherlands. Little Lamb explores far and wide, but ultimately decides to return home to her family. This app had a sweet message for my young students, but included so much more rich information for the older students. 

Have you checked out any of The Happy Dandelion's apps? I would love to hear what you think! 
Click to visit The Happy Dandelion!

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