This is a fantastic app, and considering its now free for iOS and only 99 cents for Android, we would thoroughly recommend the app and have awarded it 5 stars in our Certification.
On the landing page of the app, the user is presented with 4 option tabs;
- Read the Stories
- Play the Game
- Explore the Harbour
- More Fergus
- For Teachers
- For Parents
The stories are the main feature to the app and are centred around the Characters Fergus (a passenger ferry) and Joe the captain. All in all, there are 24 stories to read, with 10-15 pages each, which is an incredible amount of content for the price point. You have the option of a story being read to you, or reading yourself. The illustrations are very pleasing on the eye and have obviously been created with a lot of time and care.
The narration is also great, with rhyming paragraphs accompanying each illustration in the story. The stories are set in Sydney harbour, and are around different the scenarios that Fergus and his captain find themselves in. For instance, one story involves Fergus having to rescue some people from a burning island, or tug a large ship safely into the harbour.
If you read the content in the ‘for parents’ tab in the main screen, the author of the books outlines what the messages of each story are, such as friendship, believing in yourself and don’t judge a book by its cover. I felt each of the 24 stories, did indeed have something valuable that the reader could take away.
The game element of the app, was probably my least favourite aspect. The game play was simple and fairly monotonous. It is, of course, designed for early learners, but could have been more visually appealing with more varied objectives.
Another feature of the app that I loved was the ‘Explore the Harbour’ tab. When clicked on the user is taken to a map view of the harbour with a symbol for the different boats and places found in each region. For instance, if you click on the Lady Jane boat, you’ll find out how fast it travels, how many passengers it can hold and what it is used for. This is a really nice feature, and there are lots of boats and landmarks to explore.
The last tab is the ‘for teachers’ tab, which guides teachers on how to structure a lesson/conversation around each of the stories, and what the main messages are. This is one of the first times I’ve seen this type of section in an app, and think it could be quite useful for application in the classroom, although I would only expect a teacher to use it as a very rough guideline.
All in all, this is a great app and will occupy your little ones for many hours. I’ve reviewed many story book apps, and I’ve never seen anything with as much content. This app is definitely a must have for 2014 and a great adaptation of the Fergus Ferry book series.
From the Developer
The hugely popular Fergus Ferry children's stories are available on the iPhone!
Take to the harbour with Fergus Ferry and all his friends as you and your children read the stories, play the game and explore Fergus' world.
This Lite version gives you a taste of the full Fergus Ferry iPad app. In this version you'll find:
* 4 Fergus Ferry stories with the original illustrations and all new reading fun. The stories are available in 2 modes: Read-Along where young readers can listen to the author, JW Noble, read the books aloud while the pages turn automatically, or 'Read-Myself' where children and their parents can read the stories themselves.
* Level 1 of the 'Go! Fergus' Game where young players can drive Fergus Ferry around the harbour on adventures.
* ‘Explore the Harbour’: an illustrated map of Fergus’ harbour featuring the major landmarks and characters of the Fergus stories. Tap each figure to read and listen to factual information about each one and explore Fergus’ world.
* ‘For Parents’ information: JW Noble explains the origins of Fergus Ferry. He also gives a brief explanation of the themes of each of the stories, designed to help a little with teaching children some of the lessons that can help equip them for life.
* ‘For Teachers’ information: gives teachers talking points, themes and activities for each story.
* Voice over and audio prompts: each app contains full voice over audio for stories, instructions and anywhere there is text for children, giving young and aspiring readers the help they need if their parents aren’t available.
Special Present from Fergus!
Fergus has a great Christmas present for all his friends and their families - for a limited time from Christmas Day to January 31st 2014, both versions of the app will be free!
That means you will be able to get the full HD version with all 24 stories (an $89.99 value) for Free! So please try this Lite version today and remember when Christmas comes to head on over to the full version and get it!
We've made it easy by including a link within the Lite version leading to the full version. So on December 25th, simply click the "Buy The Full Version" link within this Lite app... this will lead you to the full HD version- which will be free starting on Christmas day! Don't forget!