This is a review for Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App. Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals have written this Bible and app with the K-3rd age group in mind. The app uses your devices camera and part of the illustrations pop up off the page for a 3-D effect. Your child can also touch the figures that pop off the page for additional sound effects/speaking. Many pages also have story-related background sound, such as storm sounds during the flood.
How we used it:
I read the stories aloud to my 2nd and 3rd-grade boys. After each page, I paused and let them use the app for that page. We went through over 50 pages of the 270 pages in the Bible. We focused mainly on the beginning of the Bible, and then in the New Testament we started with The Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and read through the Resurrection.
Quality of Writing:
I am picky both about both the quality of writing and the accuracy of how the stories of the Bible are retold. The stories are retold in a way that is engaging for young children and mom was able to enjoy reading them. The stories are the perfect length for this age group, most being two-four pages. Each story references the Bible verses that were used in writing the story just under the title of the story, making it easy to read further if your kids are interested, or if you have older kids and you want to study the same story with them.
Quality of App/Devices we tested:
We tested three devices. The iPhone 8 ran smoothly with no app crashes or difficulties, the sound and picture were both very clear. The generic android phone, which is about 4 years old, had some difficulty. However, the company did an update during the review, and after the update, the app ran fine on the old android phone. The third device we tested on is a Samsung tablet, which also runs Android. The app had to be uninstalled and reinstalled after the update to get it to run (for some reason the play store did not see the update for the tablet but did for the phone). The app took much longer to load pages for the Samsung tablet and the picture was not as clear. I am sure all of this is due to it being an older device with a lower quality of camera than the iPhone 8.
Quality of Illustrations:
My children enjoyed the pictures/illustrations. I, myself, do not like cartoony looking illustrations, so I did not enjoy them. However, I would say they are well done for what they are. You will not be surprised by the style, as it is on the cover of the Bible and is consistent throughout the book.
Improvements that my 8-year-old says would change his 4-star review to a 5-star review.
1. He was very frustrated that the book does not lay open easily. He had no problems if I was holding the book for him but he could not get the book to stay open while holding the device above it to use the app on his own.
2. He wanted the app to give him the option of reading the story to him. He really loves listening to stories, and mom has a limited amount of time to read each day. I believe he would have spent hours going through this bible on his own if the app could have also read the words on the page to him.
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