Penguin’s Ladybird books are one of the best-known children’s reading brands, with Read it Yourself one of its most popular series.
More than 35 years after the first book, the series has been reinvented with a new iPad app. It’s called Ladybird: Read it Yourself, and it launched this week with some familiar stars: Peppa Pig, Moshi Monsters and Peter Rabbit.
The app offers digital books across four reading levels, matching those from the print books. Four are included in the app download, one from each level: The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Pirate School, The Elves and the Shoemaker and The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
“All stories are written in a simple way to include many high-frequency words that are vital for first reading,” explains the App Store listing. “Carefully graded words, sentences and story length across four different levels to improve vocabulary and reading stamina and give a real sense of progress.”
Children can tap on words to hear them read out loud, and they can record, save and play back their own voices reading the stories too, as their confidence grows. Penguin has also provided tips for parents, carers and teachers in order to get the most out of the app with their kids.
Other books are available from an in-app shop, costing £1.99 each (that’s $2.99 in the US). They include Ladybird originals like Cinderella, Chicken Licken and Heidi, but also a number of stories from famous children’s brands.
For Peppa Pig, there’s Little Creatures, Recycling Fun, Sports Day and more. Charlie and Lola are represented by You Won’t Like this Present as Much as I Do, I am Inventing an Invention and others. Moshi Monsters, Harry and the Dinosaurs, Tinga Tinga Tales, Topsy and Tim and a couple of Beatrix Potter books are also included.
We’ve been using the app this morning, and it’s very good: easy-to-understand controls and a decent range of stories to read. The emphasis is firmly on reading rather than whizzy interactivity on every page, although there are comprehension questions and puzzles to test how well kids have grasped each story.
Ladybird: Read it Yourself costs £1.99 ($2.99) for iPad from Apple’s App Store. And if you’re keen to explore other Ladybird educational apps, we can recommend Ladybird: I’m Ready for Phonics too.