Rockford's Rock Opera 3 – Children's Story Audiobook

Category: English / Literacy

Ages: 5-7 7-11 11-14
Price: Android - Paid iPhone/iPad - Paid

Rockford’s Rock Opera Parts 1 to 4 app is an inspiring musical story created by Matthew Sweetapple, Steve Punt and Elaine Sweetapple. The app uses stunning graphics, animation and music to teach students about extinction, ecology and biodiversity. Join Rockford the dog and his owner Moog on their travels as they discover new animals and places in this truly magical adventure. The application is free from generic adverts and offers no in-app purchases. However, there are internal links for products within the Rockford’s Rock Opera range.

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User Reviews

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Teacher Review

Upon opening the app, the user is greeted with a home screen displaying 4 chapters. There are further links at the bottom of the screen to music, information about the App’s story, information about Extinction and links to Rockford’s Rock Opera on DVD and CD. Please note that due to the high visual content and music the app may take a little while to download. The next instalment can be found via the red banner shown on the right. This is protected with a parental maths lock. Rockford’s Rock Opera is split into four apps that are reviewed below.
 
Rockford’s Rock Opera Part 1 – The Creatures have a Secret
Chapter 1 – Tells the story of a boy called Moog, his mother and his dog called Rockford who live in Battersea, London. The app has some beautiful graphics and some excellent music to support this chapter and others. Rockford gets lost in the local park whilst with his Uncle and Moog. Rockford is joined by a small yellow, sticky creature called a Cocklebur Ick who tells Rockford his story. We love the quirky, loveable Beatles like music.
 
Chapter 2 – Here Rockford and the Cocklebur Ick meet Colonel Utensil a Dectopus with 10 tentacles.  His Squid Squad help Rockford and his little friend, however, Rockford the dog isn’t on the Colonel's list!
 
Chapter 3 – Arriving on their leaf boat, Rockford and the Cocklebur Ick hit land on the Infinity Island. They are welcomed by Patrick, the Moa Bird with an arousing song. The Cocklebur Ick explains the unusual urge that attracted her to the island. Patrick explains that this is where creatures come to when they are Extinct and the last of their kind. Infinity is a strange land with a backwards river and wonderful imaginative creatures.
The Registrar, a praying mantis rocks us to the end of the Chapter.
 
Chapter 4 – We return to Battersea Park where Moog and his Uncle look desperately for Rockford the dog. Moog discovers the leaf boat that carried Rockford away and a green talking, singing moth. Moog and the moth sail towards the island of Infinity.
 
Rockford’s Rock Opera Part 2 – The Creatures have a Secret
Chapter 5 – With the Cocklebur Ick removed from his bottom the now extinct dog, Rockford, meets other creatures that have been made extinct. Moog now arrives on the Infinity Island with many questions. But, oh no…back in Battersea, dogs are disappearing!
 
Chapter 6 – Here we meet many more extinct animals such as Iggy the Passenger Pigeon, Feeble Beetle, Ono the Dodo and the Great Auk who all have a story to tell.
 
Chapter 7 – Moog worries that if he gets checked in on Infinity Island he will make all humans extinct. The only way to stop Rockford’s extinction is to stop his paw print record from reaching the centre of the island and the Fossil Record Office. The Mantis Registrar decides to add Moog, the human, to the list for extinction.
 
Chapter 8 – The Herculous Bird arrives to give Moog, Rockford and Patrick a lift to the Fossil Record Office. Flying through a magical history of animals that have become extinct they arrive at the Fossil Record Office watched by the registrar who has a cunning plan!
 
Rockford’s Rock Opera Part 3 – The Creatures have a Secret
Chapter 9 – Back home in Battersea, Moog’s mother realises Moog and Rockford are missing. Dogs from around the world are still disappearing.
 
Chapter 10 – Moog and Rockford continue to fly through the history of the earth on the back of the Herculous Bird passing unusual landscapes and animals. The app focuses on temperature change on the planet and the backwards river carrying animal prints heading for the Fossil Record Office. Here we meet the strange Hullabaloo and he tells his story.
 
Chapter 11 – As dogs continue to disappear round the world the situation is looking bleak. Flying on further through the history of life we discover dinosaurs and primitive creatures from long, long ago. Look out, as following behind is the Mantis Registrar on a flying bat holding the hand print of Moog the human. Eventually they arrive at the fossil record towers.
 
Chapter 12 – The Fossil Record Office towers are a wondrous place. Here we discover the Spooos who carry the fossil records up the towers. The mammal tower is the destination where Rockford’s paw print will be discovered. Will they find and retrieve it or will The Registrar catch them?
Will Moog’s handprint end up in the fossil record too, making humans extinct?
 
Rockford’s Rock Opera Part 4 – The Creatures have a Secret
Chapter 13 – Can Moog’s hand print be rescued from the scary Registrar? And who can save the day?
 
Chapter 14 – Dogs and humans are safe again! There is a valuable lesson to be learnt here as Moog and Rockford return to the world.
 
Chapter 15 – Rockford and Moog arrive back to a celebrity welcome in Battersea Park – full of worldwide reporters.
 
Chapter 16 – Moog and Rockford are reunited with their family. Moog tries to explain where they have been, about Infinity island and extinction. The anonymous moth saves the day!. The app finishes with a valuable lesson from the creatures of Infinity. As for Rockford he still loves his walk in the park but understands the powerful magic that had brought peace and harmony to the world.
 
The above applications are aimed at ages 6-8 although they can be enjoyed by younger and older users. The colourful graphics are truly stunning and the music ranges from rock to pop and is delightful to sing along to, often displaying lyrics in the chapters. In total the applications have over two and half hours of screen time.
The developers have taken this popular musical story and formatted it as a series of apps. We are unsure if this works successfully as an educational app as many of our users wanted to interact with the story by pressing the screen. The developers may consider some kind of interactive features for the future where the user can control the story rather than simply watching a video.
 
We also noticed that some of the same content on the internet was accompanied by ‘Read along’ text which would appeal to parents as a bedtime story or to have the option to ‘Read along’ or to be ‘Read to’.  The developers may also consider further links to characters discovered within the application or the possibilities of opting for a different language to cover a more global market. It is a shame that the story is separated over four applications although we can see there maybe issues when loading such vast content in one go. They may also consider a light version that does not include any songs but just the story.
 
Rockford’s Rock Opera is an excellent application for children. The whole family will enjoy the story, songs and animations. The story has some real educational values with topics like extinction, looking after our planet and some extra features such as the ‘Creatures Secret’ video in Part 3. The whole series of apps flows nicely and the developers can be commended on the story telling, concept, animation and accompanying music. The application is one that will be used by parents and by classroom teachers as an educational tool. However, will a few minor tweaks that app could have further educational value. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and heart-warming story and it comes highly recommended by the EducationalAppStore.com

From the Developer

Welcome to Rockford’s Rock Opera PART 3 – the penultimate installment in this award winning audiobook story for children and adults!

NOTE: YOU CAN DOWNLOAD PART 1 OF THIS AWARD WINNING MUSICAL STORY FREE in the App Store (over an hour of story, music, animation and pictures). PARTS TWO and FOUR ARE ALSO NOW AVAILABLE making up the whole story.

But, if you’re here to download Part 3 of the Rockford’s Rock Opera audiobook app, you’ll already know about this unique, ecological musical story so... welcome back!

If you're enjoying the story, please do post a review, tell your friends, and join us on facebook. You can visit our website too; www.RockfordsRockOpera.com where you’ll find loads more free stuff including free educational materials. We love to hear from you, so please do say ‘hi!’.

As before, due to the rich audio visual content in our story, Rockford’s Rock Opera Part 3 is QUITE A BIG FILE SO PLEASE USE WIFI when you’re downloading – but, as we’ve found, it’s so much better as it avoids any additional download fees. The audio visual story is a Universal app so it'll look great on iPhone, iPod Touch and on the iPad too. And, as we’ve said before, although we originally made the story for ages 5+, many younger children and young-at-heart adults love the story, animation and illustrations.

That’s it I think? We hope you enjoy the third part of what the Guardian newspaper's App Reviewer recently called;

“The best iPhone prog-rock educational eco-musical App!”

And, if you're still not sure, please take a look at the reviews for our Parts 1 and 2 Apps (many thanks to all of you who've posted – we REALLY appreciate it).

Thanks again for listening and do keep in touch.

Matthew, Elaine and Steve.

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