Captain McFinn and Friends

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Vocabulary, Sight Words, Life Skills, Social Skills

What we like best:

In 'read-to me' mode text is highlighted as words are narrated, reinforcing word recognition and early literacy skills.

What you should know:

In-app purchases and information sharing links occur throughout—parents should use with caution.
Full Review:

Sea creatures swarm all over the busy underwater interface of this charming storybook app. Navigation can be confusing in this storybook app, but once little learners find the home button and get the hang of virtual page turning, they’re ready to sit back and enjoy this aquatic tale that tackles the sticky subject of bullying.

Mean shark McFinn is the biggest bully in Sand Dusty Reef—but the other underwater critters are determined to help him learn how to be a buddy. Clever characters, kid-friendly graphics and interactive surprises help move the story forward, and a positive anti-bullying message is woven throughout. The extras—such as fun Finn facts—can be hard to find, which is frustrating for kids. Although the interface glitches are all minor, they do add up. "Fun fact" buttons pop you back to the beginning of the story instead of saving your place, and there’s no logical way to move back and forth between pages. Some pages won’t allow you to progress until the highlighted words are finished—and the highlight functionality can't be turned off.

Despite the imperfect interface, this app offers a good anti-bullying message (complete with a pledge) that makes for a solid storybook experience overall.

Reviewed 2013-03-13 on iPad mini iOS 6.0.1 by Roberta Munoz

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App Icon
Grade:First Grade
Platform:Android, Apple
Publisher:Phyllis Cafaro