Monday, October 21, 2013

Dr. Seuss App Teaches Kids to Read

I do not like green eggs and ham.

But served up as an app? Kids seem to find them pretty tasty.

Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Geisel) and his books for children date back more than 75 years. For nearly 60 of those years, his characters stayed mainly on the printed page.

In 1997, I wrote about some Seuss titles that had made it onto the computer screen, "Green Eggs and Ham," and "The cat stencil book in the Hat" among them.

Sound and animation helped children develop eye-hand coordination by using a mouse; words that changed colors as the computer's voice sounded them out - or even turned into the objects that they spelled - helped children learn to read.

Dr. Seuss had entered the computer age.

So it is appropriate that on the 75th anniversary of the publication of "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," that an app by that title has appeared for iPad/iPhone and Android devices (as well as Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook Color tablets; about $5).

It's an interactive picture book, designed for children in the 6-to-12 age group. The picture book is nicely done, too, with black-and-white renditions of the Seuss artwork that appeared in the 1938 original. Bartholomew's hats, and there are plenty of them, are all red, making them numerous and notable.

There are 31 pages for children to explore. They can either read the pages themselves, or have the story read to them.

And here's a very nice feature of this and some of the other titles from Oceanhouse Media: It allows parents, grandparents, siblings or the children themselves to record their own voice, so the app can read the story back to them instead of using the prerecorded voice. (The company's website notes that this feature is only available for Apple devices.)

The company's website has dozens of titles by Dr. Seuss. Two or three are offered free in a "lite" or "sampler" version. The company also offers reading apps for other brands, including the Berenstain Bears, Five Little Monkeys, and Little Critter.


Pumpkins abound this time of year. Once the seeds are removed and the insides taken out (an ice-cream scoop is perfect for the task), the pumpkin is ready for carving.

Better Homes and Gardens has devoted part of its website to pumpkins. There are videos on how to clean them out, how to pick one for carving, and how to use stencils for carving. One section shows a stencil, then show how the carved pumpkin turned out. There are dozens of stencils from which to choose, ranging from traditional Halloween themes to dogs and cats.

Don't want the mess and time of pumpkin carving? There are no-carve ideas as well. Pumpkins can be painted as well. And festooned with ribbons. There are plenty of decorating tips available by clicking on the "Halloween Fun" link on the page.

To get to the webpage, use this link:

[ Lonnie Brown can be reached at ]

Source: Theledger

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