Do you have a faith based view of how your child came to you? Do you want your child to believe that you spent money on this app because you love them to?
And So You Were Born is an interactive book app that allows you to reaffirm that your child is loved and that they have a place in this world for a reason. Kaetlyn and I sat down for a couple nights and used this app as our bed time story and used to talk about what she sees her place in this world to be. It’s amazing what a 4 year old can take from some of the story points of the book.
Now I don’t claim to be anything short of a Father and a husband but there are times when I feel like I need to be a child psychologist to understand Kaetlyn and how she thinks about the world around here and especially about who God is and how her parents fall into the mix.
I have come to learn that often to kids, God is not as tangible as their parents, but no less important… It would apparently be helpful if he were to help put the dishes away and feed the dog from time to time because just like the parents he is a part of the family and her life. While I do not dispute His importance in this family, I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have the time to fill Midges food bowl (and if he does, I’ll be sure to call the nearest news station and let EVERYONE know that it did happen). Kaetlyn still does not know the details of how she came to be (which is probably a good thing), but as far as she is concerned, Mom and Dad love each other so much that God allowed her to be born. OK, well that gives me about 10 years of time to think of the more technical way to talk about Love and God.
About the app:
Interactive books are nothing new to the market, but it’s not often that you find one that can find one that will let your child know that they are special and that they are loved by both you and God and THAT there is a reason for them to be in this world. Now you might be thinking “Well is this based on [insert religion here]?” when you read this article, and I would say both “No” and “Yes”. I would answer “No” for the fact that it does not cite passages, or religion specific beliefs (beyond ‘God’) and “Yes” because it does mention God and allows you to create a video based on 1 of 7 major world faiths and insert it into the story.
Each page is illustrated as you might see in a book, with large lettering and colorful paintings. Most of the elements of these paintings are interactive in some form so for the little fingers can poke and prod at the page to make the birds move, the stars shine, or other small treasures. All the time your child is interacting with the page an ethereal voice is reading each page. Some pages also have a puzzle, video, or finger painting embedded in case they want to be a bit more active than just punching various points on the screen to see what happens.
What I liked about this app:
And so you were born is geared towards a younger crowd and has a positive message to be delivered to your child. If you leave them with this, you can be sure that you will not be introducing them to something you do not want them to learn about. God and Parents are mentioned often so that the message reinforces some of those values that you may want your children to learn (assuming you are not anti-family or atheist).
The story can be slightly geared towards different religions and the story can be customized with the name of your child and various other aspects that make the book ‘personalized’ for their enjoyment.
Outside of the story, there are different things for your child to interact with. Paint, picture matching, and puzzles are available as interactive additions to your purchase. Each of these three available interactive items are based on the main story, so they will see and interact with images that they are familiar with.
What I didn’t like about this app:
Well after about 10 minutes (as an adult) I’ve seen and done it all in this app. I understand the need to keep it simple for the little ones, but even Kaetlyn was done with this after a couple nights. The replay value of this app is low, the saving grace to keep this app somewhat afloat would be the three interactive games that can be accessed outside of the story.
The story, well, I can appreciate where they wanted to go with it, but it’s repetitive and not very ‘story like’ according to Kaetlyn (which is both its strength and its fatal weakness). After the second or third time I heard the voice say ‘and so you were born’ I was about ready to walk away.
User controls are not as intuitive as you would expect for little people. Turning pages is accomplished with arrows and stiff page transitions that are adequate, but not very indicative of an interactive book. I was looking for a finger swipe and a more page like transition, which is where many iBooks and other apps tend to go when ‘turning a page’.
I can appreciate where they wanted to go with the positive message and the interactive pages, but the delivery and story make the repetition of the story a bit dry after the first couple of times. While the added games add to the life and usefulness of the app, I would save your money and get the similar games for free of the app store and tell your child you love them every night as you tuck them in and discuss God with them when they need affirmation of a higher power.