Duh Color Stuff - A Book for Kids. Read, Play and Learn!
Literacy, problem solving, and social skills are enjoyably weaved together in this story book app where the reader makes the decisions to influence the adventure.
Physical books for children have tried to engage the reader in the story by offering them decisions to make, but these have been rather awkward interactions involving multiple page searches. The emergence of apps has allowed this concept to be done justice to, with rich stories and multiple branching points that are a joy to explore rather than a chore to work through.
This app is just such an interactive reading experience. Follow and influence the story as you read about the ongoing adventure of the Neighbourhood Watch kids. Starting with just one, Johnny, as the mystery unfolds more children are absorbed into the events. Interaction with these and other characters brings the reader choices.
At these key points a list of options appears and one is to be selected. Each will have a different outcome. Some follow a branch to where the story is ended. Some take you to the same place as others but via a less ideal path. The branches that are not the best choice offer a hint or something to consider, not only about how to approach the story, but life in general.
Pleasingly each choice is quite low risk for the reader so they can happily explore without fear of undoing all of their previous work. Even at the worst outcome, which is the story ending, there is always the option to go back to the last decision point and choose a different decision. Children can compare how the different characters behave depending on the choices made. It is this ability to see how different social interactions change the attitudes and outcomes in the story that makes the app a great way for children to consider how they would like to be treated and, in turn, treat other people.
Each page is made up of vibrant and attractive artwork and animations to bring the people and setting alive. Children can choose to read the story or to follow the text as the story is read to them. It would have been nice to see the text highlight in time with the narration, to encourage literacy skills, but at the moment it doesn’t. As well as the decisions they are also prompted to join in with the story through different interactions and these entertain and encourage further thinking. In these the reader will have their thinking skills exercised with various quick puzzles where they might have to match or move certain items. These are fun and thought provoking interludes to reading the story.
There are five positions in the story that can be kept, each represented by one of the characters in the story. The use of these could be to aid working through the repercussions of all the different decisions that the reader makes or, in a classroom, each could be used by a different child to mark their own place in the story. It is also easy to see how the app could be used by a teacher with a whole class debating the correct outcome to take and trying to predict what might be the outcome of each choice. Teachers should definitely check out the very helpful Classroom Activity pack available on the app’s supporting site, which has some great lesson ideas to build around the app.
The story in this app is as well written and presented as any you might find in a book. Its length and different options give it a decent longevity that makes it well worth its price.
From the Developer
Neighborhood Watch Kids and Duh Color Stuff ™ is an exciting adventure story in which five brave young kids and their pet dog set out to save their neighborhood. Join Arnold, Maya, Johnny, Suzie, Billy and Paw in their amazing journey to self-discovery. Help them overcome their differences, make the right choices and work together as a team to solve a series of mysterious events.
Will the Neighborhood Watch Kids succeed in saving their neighborhood?
Find out in this unique reading experience for kids, which promotes decision making and problem solving wrapped into an exciting digital storybook.
Kids experience the story through reading and playing, using their visual and auditory senses.
Kids take part in a mysterious adventure while making moral decisions from everyday situations.
Kids will use their skills to solve and overcome obstacles they encounter on their journey.
Kids make their own influential choices which affect the story line.
Enjoy the beautifully illustrated storybook enhanced with exciting animations and an original sound track.