Just Grandma and Me

Little Critter kid's book

Rating Just Grandma and Me - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 3+
Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS
Add app to wishlist Add to Favorites

You are not logged in.

Return to your saved lists at any time (and more) by logging in.

Join or Sign In

About Just Grandma and Me

Just Grandma and Me is an interactive storybook app that is one of a whole series. Each page is full of animations and opportunities for young readers to experiment with as they follow the story. Additionally, parents and teachers have the option of adding a comprehensive and useful teaching and learning guide to make the app as educational as possible. 

The app is available on popular device formats, including iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and MacOs.  Windows apps are marked as “coming soon” at the time of this review, as are additional language versions, including French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese.

Just Grandma and Me Review

What is Just Grandma and Me app?

Just Grandma and Me is part of the popular Little Critters series by Mercer Mayer. This app brings the story alive with interaction, sounds, and animations to intrigue and inspire young learners. There are comprehensive supporting resources and guides for their teachers and parents, which are available as an in-app purchase.

The app has English and Spanish language options for speech and text, and French can be added via an in-app purchase. This opens up the app for EAL and additional language learning.

This review of Just Grandma and Me uses the app along with the resource guide to give you a view of how the app works as a complete teaching and learning resource.

Although this is a review of the Just Grandma and Me Wanderful Interactive Storybook, teachers and parents can get a similar experience from a growing range of other books by the same publisher. These were once part of the Living Books series but are now under the Wanderful brand. To a large extent, you can take what you learn in this review and apply it to those other books.

What we love about Just Grandma and Me app.

Just Grandma and Me provides a great learning experience and saves teachers from a huge amount of planning and thinking of ideas. The support provided by the guides and the app's website is fantastic. The website focuses on technical support and questions you might have before buying, while the guides focus on teaching and learning with the book.

The supporting guide is full of useful, relevant, and interesting ways of using the source material in the app. It also has a grounded approach to the reality of schools.

It doesn't make any assumptions about the technology available in each classroom. If multiple screens and devices are available for kids to use, great, but if not, there's no problem. A teacher with a classroom screen will provide the stimulus for the lesson using the app from which kids will expand and progress.

If your classroom is in a WiFi dead zone or your school's connection is unreliable, this app won't disrupt your lessons, as once you've downloaded the app, it does not need any further connectivity.

There are plenty of settings to ensure teachers and kids can use the app in ways that suit their needs. Bookmarks let you return to the current page if you exit the app instead of starting over, random page access lets readers jump to a chosen page by selecting from a thumbnail of each, and the app's page-turn animation can be disabled if it is distracting or tricky for a reader to use. 

The app's developers encourage readers to explore each page for the interactive elements, but if kids struggle with this option, their parents or teachers might consider turning on the thoughtful hotspot setting to show kids where to tap.

What skills does it teach?

As an interactive book, the key skill that this app teaches is reading. Parents and teachers can extract further learning from each story by encouraging their kids to reflect on and consider the events in the story.

The app's Classroom Activities Guide pdf shows parents and teachers how to link the story to mathematics, drama, additional language learning, and science where appropriate.

What age is it appropriate for?

Just Grandma and Me's story and presentation style are ideal for young kids. The precise age this app will best work with depends on each learner's current reading ability. 

The activities in the guide cover up to US grade 5 (age 10), with the majority applying from kindergarten to grade 3 (age 5 to 8). Teachers and parents should look at the sample material to determine how much of it is suitable for their kids.

Is Just Grandma and Me app easy to use?

Even young kids will quickly learn how to use the app. Choices and options use simple taps and clear graphical elements to communicate their purpose. Teachers who want to jump to a specific page, perhaps to remind their class or highlight a point, will find it easy to do with just a couple of taps.

How will students benefit?

The better a child's reading ability is, the easier they will find other subjects. The more kids enjoy reading, the better their reading ability will become. Just Grandma and Me does a great job of catching kids' interests and linking it to the written word.

Kids will love interacting with the characters, words, and elements on the page, and when they have tapped each one, there will still be a hidden surprise on each page to find.

As kids work through this book and others in the series, they'll link words to sounds and meanings.

How will parents benefit?

The Just Grandma and Me app is great for parents to share with their kids. Every page is crammed with interactivity and chances to explore, so even reluctant readers will be pulled into the story.

Each word on the page is characterfully narrated to flow as part of the story but also has a standalone recording of the word. You might have seen in other interactive storybook apps that you can tap a word to hear it spoken, but usually, they have a flaw. Either the words are standalone, which makes them sound robotic when expressed as a sentence or cut from a sentence when tapped, which makes them sound clipped. 

In this app, each word is recorded to be used in the flow of the story but also as a single word. You can have fun with your kids tapping words to make up nonsense or new phrases, all while linking it to reading the written word.

Being part of a range of similar interactive storybooks means that parents who find that they and their child love the book have options to carry on the fun with another story.

How will teachers benefit?

The Just Grandma and Me app's classroom activities guide ensures that teachers and schools won't feel like they are misusing copyright materials. The first page tells readers what is permissible with the resources.

The copyright guidelines are common sense and should not make teachers feel constricted. Essentially, as long as the resources are for the user's classroom and not used commercially, teachers can use them how they see fit to help their students.

Animations and sounds are good features to capture a class's attention, but they can sometimes get in the way of the lesson if they have to be completed once activated. Fortunately, this app has the 'patience' setting. 

When turned on, the animation has to complete and can't be interrupted. This encourages kids to pace their progress through the app (have patience!).   When turned off, everything can be interrupted, so teachers won't have to pause while waiting for an accidentally activated animation to complete.

US-based teachers who use the Common Core State Standards benefit from having the activities mapped against the CCSS. This isn't restricted only to English language but also takes opportunities in the story to link it to CCSS mathematics standards.

The guide also considers lesson themes which are popular ways for schools to link their lessons. For example, this app provides guidance for themed lessons on grandparents. This goes as far as giving you ideas for other resources, including those by other publishers.

What can Just Grandma and Me app improve on?

Teachers in regions that do not use the CCSS will be envious of those that do for the ease with which they can map their lessons to the framework. This mapping is still helpful to all teachers as it gives a basis to translate the mapping to frameworks and curricula used in other countries. Still, we'd like to see other curricula included natively, even if only via a supporting web page. 

It probably isn't realistic to map against every English-language curriculum but having a few makes it easier for teachers to map to their school's long-term lesson plans.

Perhaps because of its origins, the stories are in lower resolution than you might be used to on your device and do not expand to fit the screen entirely. This is not so bad that it is distracting from the story, but it is noticeable if you come from apps using higher resolution images.

How much does Just Grandma and Me app cost?

The choice of how deeply you go with the teaching side of this app is yours. You purchase the app to get the full book, and in-app purchases (not subscriptions) give you access to the other components. For example, the Classroom Activities Guide PDF referred to in this review is unlocked through in-app purchase, as are some extra language versions.

Parents might choose only to get the book for their child to enjoy reading, while teachers will find the supporting guide a good-value way of making their planning easier.

What is included with the free version vs. paid?

There is no free version of the app, but samples and overviews are available on the app's supporting website. A free Wanderful Sampler App with sample pages is available from several of their most popular interactive storybooks, with this one due to be added soon. Sample videos also highlight the stories and features.

A Preview Classroom Activities Guide PDF is included free with the app. Along with this review, all of this should give you a clear understanding of what you get when you purchase one of the Wanderful storybook apps.

Is Just Grandma and Me app safe to use?

The Just Grandma and Me story (along with the stories included in the rest of the series) is written specifically for young children. The themes, messages, and content are child friendly. The apps do not contain any features unsuitable for an app to be used independently by children. It does not have advertisements or social media links.

Overall rating of the app.

Just Grandma and Me goes beyond other interactive storybook apps in three main ways:

  • Its interactivity is brilliantly done
  • It is carefully designed to work well in the classroom
  • It has the option of a superb guide that will be perfect for helping teachers and parents who homeschool

It does this at a very reasonable price point (even at the full premium version), considering that it gives teachers and parents the interactive app, printable resources and expert guidance. Just Grandma and Me is a superb app that easily achieves a five-star rating by the Educational App Store

App Details

Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Skills

Communication Skills
Academic Relevance
Reading

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Oceanhouse Media

Download Just Grandma and Me

You can download Just Grandma and Me on your iOS or Android devices from the app stores. Download the Just Grandma and Me app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Download Just Grandma and Mefor Android Download Just Grandma and Mefor iOS

Screenshots of Just Grandma and Me

Just Grandma and Me Screenshot - 1
Just Grandma and Me Screenshot - 2
Just Grandma and Me Screenshot - 3
Just Grandma and Me Screenshot - 4
Just Grandma and Me Screenshot - 5