Are you a member of your local library? We are and visit it loads (I can’t quite compute you being allowed 12 books out at a time – I’m pretty sure it was a measly three when I was growing up). Visiting the library was a childhood rite of passage that I loved and it’s one my children now love too.
This week we’ve been taking a trip to a library with a very modern twist and we don’t even need to get the bus there, or worry about late fees. The Library of Miss Gadish is a new interactive iPad app with a virtual library stocked with children’s stories and staffed by some very quirky characters, including Miss Gadish, a door knocker lion and a cowboy spider.
The app is set in the main room of the library, and as well as interacting with the different characters in the room, children can select a book from the shelf and read it themselves (you can set it to autoplay mode with audio and text shown to follow along with, or they can turn the audio off and let them read it themselves).
Each story also has different interactive elements where children can get involved by touching different items, finding hidden items or talking back to the app. The books have been created by award-winning artists, animators, writers and teachers, in collaboration with mums and dads.
Children can engage with the room in different ways, such as taking a photo of themselves and hanging it on the library wall. They can also earn stars for each book they read, which are saved on a star planet (I think this was E’s favourite part, poor deprived child who’s never had a reward chart).
The app comes with one free story, The Lion & The Mouse as well as a music video that explains how to use the app. E seems happy to play around with that for the moment, but there’s also a shelf of additional books you can buy, including The Boy Who Never Sleeps and Turtle Teeth, Dry Pasta and Toast, The Fisherman and His Wife, Balloons and The Ugly Duckling (which cost £4.99 each).
Like lots of families, we’ve always read a lot, especially since starting primary school when E’s loved learning to read. But we also like the iPad too, so this is a good combination on the two.
It will be interesting to see watch the app develop, especially in terms of the range of books – it would be great to see more free books and also a bigger range. But it’s a fun and creative way to add an additional layer to children’s reading and learning and is a useful aid for children learning to read who are also iPad fans too (all children?!). Anything that encourages children to read is a great thing in my book.
I’m also giving away a 32GB iPad in a brand new competition to celebrate the launch of The Library of Miss Gadish.
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to let me know one of the books that are available on the app.
The winner of the iPad will be picked from all correct entries received by the closing date of 11.59pm Sunday 4th June.
The Library of Miss Gadish is available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. More info on the app is here. Make sure you catch up on these posts…the hidden perils of picking the bedtime book, the mysteries of Do you Know and Truth and Lies in Topsy and Tim books