LQ: 8.5


Brain grade: 9.0
Fun score: 8.0

Platform/Console: , , , LWK Recommended Age: 1–11 Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

iStoryBooks is a mobile app where users can enjoy a series of free digital books. Narration accompanies every story, with corresponding text that appears at the bottom of the screen, allowing users to read along with the voice. This auditory aid can help young learners better grasp pronunciation and vocabulary, and makes it easier to understand more complex concepts like fluency and sentence structure. Animations follow the narration, showing users whats happening and helping them to better contextualize the text. New stories are published by the developers frequently, with over 25 free books, and many more available in the “parents section.” Choices include biographies, tales of historical events, nonfiction, and fictional stories. Though some of the language is fairly advanced, the narration provides great assistance, and a range of content is available, making the app is recommended for children ages 4 and older.

This app is good for kids who need help with:


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

By nature, reading is an activity that requires a steady, constant level of sustained attention. Because words in novels and stories often imply more than what they mean on the surface, readers must constantly maintain keen concentration to get a deeper understanding of the text. Even though iStoryBooks provides narration, users still should focus their attention on the relationship between the text and animation. However, the narration does allow children to understand well beyond their indicated "reading level," helping introduce them to more advanced vocabulary. Completely finishing via the app can make the task of reading a book not seem so daunting for reluctant readers. In this way, iStoryBooks helps to establish a strong foundation in developing users' motivation towards finishing stories or reading assignments outside the app.


Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.

Users are presented with a fairly extensive library of animated books. They range in subject matter from biography to fiction, allowing users to match their interests to the types of books the choose to read. When users first begin using the app they should search for titles that will keep them hooked. This way, struggling readers can find content that will keep them motivated, while the narration makes the text easier to read along with and understand.

Since the narration allows users to enjoy reading that may otherwise be a bit beyond their reading abilities, iStoryBooks also serves as a great way for children to grasp their own current reading level. Audiobooks can help users take steps towards pushing forward into harder material, while helping them refine and master reading that is on par with their grade level.

Finally, reading is an activity that lends itself to reflection, and as users discover new tales and characters, they are likely to experience emotions like empathy or admiration as they begin to relate to these characters. To foster such reactions, encourage your child to try to see things from the protagonist's -- or even antagonist's -- point of view.


iStoryBooks works to improve the four building blocks of reading: phonics/phonological awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Once users listen to the narration for a whole page, they can attempt to read the paragraph themselves. Even if users are not strong readers, they will slowly develop the capacity to understand the correspondence between sounds and letters. By re-reading a favorite story, users will become better at recognizing sight words with more efficiency. Increased vocabulary will come directly from users' exposure to new words with thematically linked animation, ultimately leading to comprehension.

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