Read And Color
Read and Color is an American application available on iOS. The app contains three beautifully illustrated children’s books with a unique an interesting story line featured in all. The stories are displayed as vibrant digital pages and can be switched to a no-colour version for the children to colour in and engage. The app is free form in-app adverts but has links to in-app purchases for further books from the developers.
Upon opening the application, the user is shown a splash screen and then the main home page.
There are 5 main buttons on the left hand side to control the app. The layout is colourful and user friendly suiting the target market for 5 and under.
The ‘Book’ icon directs the user to the book ‘Odd Olivia’ and the ‘New drawing’ blank page. It is noted that the other books displayed ‘Lost in the forest’ and “A boy and his dragon’ are in-app purchases from the developers.
Choosing the ‘New drawing’ page gives access to a blank page for drawing and colour. We love the layout of the page which is simple and easy to navigate. The page features an ‘Undo’ button and a ‘magnify’ button that reveals the tools at the bottom of the screen.
The tools are beautifully presented and would excite any child using the app to create their own pictures. The tool box features an eraser, a wide tip felt pen, a fine tip felt pen, a paint fill roller, a fountain pen, a crayon, a pencil and a colour chart in the form of the dog with the coloured hair. There is a vast selection of fantastic colours.
We found that the eraser and the felt pens were very easy to use, however there was a tiny lag in the drawing method. The paint roller simply fills the background or chosen shape with colour. The fountain pen, crayon and pencil are also great features for adding fine detail or experiencing different colouring formats. We like the option of the different size brushes on the left hand menu. There is also a complete page erase button that clears the drawing. It is good to see that this can be undone if pressed by mistake.
The story ‘Odd Olivia’ by Lisa Steyn focuses on a child that feels slightly different to her peers but wins then over by playing beautiful piano music. The story is enchanting and gives an important lesson in friendship and not feeling different or left out as a child. The book is beautifully illustrated. We did feel that the book lacked some sound that could really enhance the story. We would also like to see the option of the story being ‘read aloud’ so that the child can follow the words and use the app without parent or teacher intervention.
Our users really enjoyed the book and loved the option to colour the pages in. This enables the user to engage and focus on what has been read, however, although this option is really engaging there are a number of features that the developers should consider. Our users found that filling in such small areas of the book was difficult, a Zoom and pinch feature is available but wasn't evident initially. This can be accessed by pressing the magnify option.
The paint roller feature was great at filling in backgrounds however white spaces were often left in the letters.
The developer should also consider a ‘Page print’ feature for those special master pieces or a gallery to save work to, this would be especially helpful for classroom use.
The developers may also consider renaming the app for the UK market using the correct spelling for colour and removing the spaces and the capital ‘A’ in the title to optimise searches.
We found the app very easy to use and intuitive and the story is delightful. Children will really enjoy working with the app and with a few minor tweaks this could be an excellent edition to any family’s device or classroom app catalogue.
From the Developer
This is a fun read-and-color app that comes with 3 beautifully illustrated children story books.
Each story book has a unique and interesting story line. Your kids will enjoy reading the stories and learn important lessons that help them become a better person.
A no-color version is available for each of the books so kids can color the story themselves. It is a more engaging experience for kids so they get to spend more time on the story and use their imagination to color the story in their own creative way.
In addition to 3 story books, it also comes with a drawing book with blank pages that allows kids to draw freely. It is a good way for kids to express themselves, develop their drawing skills, and learn how to be creative.