Tuesday 11 April 2017

iExplore Bugs from Carlton Kids Books review (age 7+)

iExplore books are a series of books with an associated app. which brings them to life via Augmented Reality using a smartphone or tablet. iExplore Bugs by Hannah Wilson is fresh off the press at Carlton Kids Books and we've been sent a copy to review.

iExplore Bugs is an excellent quality hardback full colour book. 32 pages full of everything your average child could ever possibly need to know about the most fantastic and exotic bugs alive, including the Goliath Bird-Eating Spider and Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly.

In full colour with some fantastic close up photography, you are immersed into the tiny world. Text is broken into sections and the language used is clear, but not condescending to your young readers. Familiar diagrams such as life cycles are shown, tying in with what they'll learn at school - only with more bugs...

This isn't simply a 2D book, it has an accompanying app. to bring several of the bugs to life in your home - digitally - using a smartphone or tablet...

When you face the camera towards the interactive icons, the magic happens...your chosen bug comes to life in front of your eyes. You can adjust the size using the slider on the right.

And in a fantastic twist to previous AR books I've used, you can control where your bug goes using a direction pad rather than moving your phone or tablet - and we did lose it a couple of times off the bottom of the screen. We also had a lot of fun!

The flying insects do fly, with realistic wing movements and perfect sound effects. My moth-hating partner was really quite disturbed by our giant butterfly...it was hilarious. We weren't too mean.

We haven't yet tried 2 devices at once, but the Hercules Beetles can even be fought in a 2-player battle. By interacting on screen you can make all of the bugs not only fly or walk, but rear up or sting.

This is a great book and it's loads of fun. Having the bugs walk around in our home hissing and clicking makes them far more real to all of us and there is all sorts to learn about each of the AR bugs within the app. as well as in the book.

iExplore Bugs by Hannah Wilson is published by Carlton Kids and available to buy now from all good bookshops rrp £9.99, currently on offer on the Carlton Books website at £7.49.

We were sent our copy of iExplore Bugs for review.

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