Bison, Birds, & Bugs: Arty Apps from Labo Lado | Touch and Go

Clean design, smooth functionality, and delightful animation and gaming are just some of the attributes that recommend these Labo Lado apps.
Clean design, smooth functionality, delightful animation and gaming, and availability in multiple languages are just some of the attributes that recommend these Labo Lado apps. xxx

A completed creature in Labo Leaves (Labo Lado)

Perfect for young children, Labo Leaves (Labo Lado Inc. iOS S1.99, Android $.99; PreS-K) provides users with 18 design templates. Each screen in the app presents four to seven colorful leaves of various shapes, sizes, and colors that children can drag to the correct (outlined) spot to create a figure or a familiar creature such as a fish, pig, dog, chicken, or cow.  When the picture is completed correctly, users are rewarded with a short, humorous animation. There is no text or narration to this crisply designed app, but a soothing melody plays in the background and the animated sequences feature sound effects. Arrows direct users how and where to turn the page; the rest is intuitive. Adults who work with children may want to use the app as a starting point for hands-on preschool art and science projects. For youngsters, hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills come into play.  The app is user-friendly and no Internet connection is necessary once it is downloaded. A strong addition to the Labo Lado's collection of creative apps. Available in several languages.–Amy Shepherd, Librarian, St. Anne’s Episcopal School  xx

A clothesline of images to choose from in Labo's Pebble Art (Labo Lado)

A clothesline row of 22 pictures greets children on opening Labo’s Pebble Art (Labo Lado, iOS, $1.99, Android, $2.06; PreS-Gr 1). After selecting an image with a tap, viewers are brought to a screen where the picture has been deconstructed. Their job is to reassemble the image puzzle fashion; a grey outline is provided. The shapes are large and few, so the task is not particularly difficult but it will call in young children’s visual discrimination and fine-motor skills. Once the image is complete, a palette of bright colors becomes available (along with a thumbnail image of a painted image). Children can color the image by finger if they desire; a tap to a check mark icon indicates the painting is complete. Behind each finished painting is a related animated scene or game that incorporates the picture the appster has just completed. A blackbird walks along a grassy landscape seeking worms (some more dangerous than others), a caterpillar becomes a xylophone capable of creating a tune, and a screen floods with colorful beetles of different colors, sizes, and body types that when matched with its pair tallies into points discreetly noted in a corner of the screen. While most kids won’t even notice the points accumulating, the games are timed. At the end of each one, confetti drops and a final score is noted. The app contains no narration, but background music accompanies the activities and some of the games incorporate their own songs or tunes. Simple, clean images, smooth functionality, and a variety of charming animations and delightfully inventive activities will keep kids coming back for more. Available in six languages.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal

For additional app reviews, visit School Library Journal's dedicated app webpage



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