Children's iPad App Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch
Free via iTunes
Can Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch be called an educational app? It sure can. I've chosen it as my first app for review because not only is its emphasis on divergent thinking, but kids will love it. It will suit under 8s best I believe, but is aimed at kids 5-12. Its goal is to encourage creativity and imagination. Within the app, kids are asked to imagine a world of magical beasts and help defeat monsters that attack the night zoo. Children do this by completing drawing activities on the very simple screen, which offers different colours, brushes and a fill tool. Pictures made within the app can be shared via email and saved.
Here's the iTunes description:
Night Zookeeper, the award winning creative project, presents Drawing Torch. Drawing Torch is a magical, drawing and story experience. You become a Night Zookeeper and take on creative drawing missions to look after thousands of magical animals and defeat the monsters that attack the zoo. What do you think a Spying Giraffe looks like? Can you turn one of your friends or family into a strange animal? Could you draw a frog, if a monster has stolen the colour green?
You will need all of your creativity and you better work on your ROAR!!!, because it's the only way to unlock the Drawing Torch's awesome power.
* 10 cool colours
* 9 amazing tools including: fill, colour mixing and multiple brush sizes
* Simple email share and save on iPad
* 2 story chapters
* 22 unique missions
* Interactive introduction
* Complete user privacy and safety
First of all, I love Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch's emphasis on story! I love the quirkiness of creatures like spying giraffes, time-travelling elephants and singing fish. It helps that the app creators have given kids text for their eyes, accompanied by the same words read aloud, which is great for beginning readers. I also like the potential for kids to write about the creatures they collect and create. There's a unit of work based on the app for teachers, including free-to-download lesson plans. Kids can get a taste of Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch by registering at the website.
All this, and it's free!