Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: My Little Pony Canterlot Wedding - with the all New Little Miss M's corner

Purpose of the App: To become a part of the enchanting storybook and help each pony friend complete tasks required to throw a royal pony wedding.

Strengths: There are diverse activities with the ability to change the outcome each time you play. The activities allow you to be a part of the story. The narrator reads the page of the story out-loud. The page can only be swiped when it's been completely read. Manipulations are easy.

Weaknesses: The words are not highlighted or bolded as the story is read. There were a lot of opportunities for extension activities and real learning that did not occur, but could have. None of the choices are labeled either visually or audibly, which really bothered me throughout the activities.

Suggested Audience: My Little Pony fans will certainly enjoy this cute storybook app. It's also good for any child working on listening to stories, but who may need a higher level of interaction. 

Star Rating Breakdown
Meets Intended Goal    
Worth the Price            
Ease of Use                 
Educational Value        
Level of Customization

If you would like to download My Little Pony - A Canterlot Wedding ($4.99, iPad Only - requires IOS 5.0 or higher), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by clicking the button:


Begin your journey into Canterlot with the beloved My Little Ponies. These enchanting characters each have distinct personalities and talents. From Pinkie Pie's exuberant bubbly personality to Fluttershy's quietness, all the ponies are highlighted during this story. The ponies have received an invitation to the wedding of Princess Cadence and Twilight Sparkle's brother. They are all excited and each is given a task to complete for the wedding.

The pages are easily swiped to the side once the story on that page has been read. If there is an activity to play, a drop down menu can be pulled down. There is an easily accessible scrolling menu along the top where pages can be skipped and players can jump ahead to just play the games if they don't want to hear the story.

The first game is Applejack's cooking. With her, you can choose to make and decorate cookies and make and decorate a wedding cake. You can choose to do just one or do both. I wish this game required a little more fine motor manipulation to prepare the batter, but all that is needed is clicking on the items. Also, players must choose the five correct ingredients from about eight that are shown. The same ingredients are used for the cookies as for the cake. The names of the ingredients are not written anywhere. This is a great learning opportunity lost. I did find decorating the cake to be fun as you can make the cake look nice and move items around. However, decorating the cookies was difficult. You drag the sprinkles and shake them over the cookies but you can't place them easily at all.

The next game is with Rarity and her design studio. Again, the app misses the opportunity to label the clothing items. You cannot get too creative with this game as you can only have one headpiece, one skirt, one neck piece, and one set of hoof decorations. It's cute but there is no real learning activity happening. This game may cause frustration, as there is very little ability to manipulate the costume. I would have liked to have been able to even choose a color change.

The third game is Fluttershy's musical birds. Each bird sings a different tone and moving them to the branches makes them sing loudly. This was fun as different combinations of birds made different songs, but nothing recognizable. The fourth game is Rainbow Dashes sonic Rainboom. I feel a large opportunity was missed here. All you do is pick a shape for Rainbow Dash to trace in the sky. It would have been a nice extension if a connect the dots activity was inserted here.  The last game is with Pinkie Pie. The player picks five different flowers by dragging the heads to the stems. If you don't like the flower choices you can touch them to change the color and shape. Again, I would have liked the flower type labeled or at least the color.

I approached this storybook from an educational value standpoint, and it's clear it is more for entertainment. The story is cute and activities are fun. If you have My Little Pony fans in your house, it's a good choice; however, there are other interactive storybooks out there at the same price point of $1.99 that do far more. Yes, you can change the dress, flowers, desserts, music and sonicboom each time, but I'm not sure you can change them enough to warrant playing over and over.

I've decided to add a new section to my review. Little Miss M's Corner will be a section of my reviews given directly by my eight year old daughter. I let her play the app, and then I ask her some very pointed questions. Little Miss M was very eager to help. Please note, that Little Miss M is in third grade. She has a pretty decent vocabulary, and I do not alter her grammar.

NEW! Little Miss M's Corner 
This app is good. There are five cool activities to do. You can help Applejack make cake, help Rarity make a dress, help Fluttershy make a song, help Rainbow Dash make a sonic rainboom, and help Pinkie Pie pick flowers. My favorite part was making the dress for Princess Candence. You can make it different every time. I also loved the way they read the story, the narrator was a girl. There was nothing that I didn't like. I learned how to help ponies. I will play this app again.

From iTunes:
Join all your favourite ponies as they prepare for a Royal Wedding in the magical kingdom of Canterlot! Princess Celestia has given the ponies a job each to do . . . but they can’t complete them without your help! Will you help the ponies make sure that everything is perfect for the big day?

• Cook up some treats in the kitchen with Applejack for the wedding feast.
• Design a wonderful wedding gown for the bride with Rarity.
• Compose a song with Fluttershy and her choir of songbirds.
• Help Rainbow Dash perform a perfect sonic rainboom to light up the sky.
• Arrange a beautiful bouquet of flowers with Pinkie Pie.

Special Features:
• Enjoy the exciting story, or skip to your favourite fun activity!
• Help is at hoof if readers get stuck –the help section on the homescreen explains tips to try.
• Look out for interactive surprises along the way!
• Through the activities you can help the ponies create your own personalised version of the wedding meaning you can enjoy the app again and again.
• Thoughtful, age-appropriate text and activities ensure children aged 3+ will want to play through the app again and again.

Amanda grew up with My Little Ponies and loves that her girls enjoy them as well; however, the real ponies hurt when you step on them in the middle of the night.

Little Miss M  is an amazing little girl who is diagnosed with autism, adhd, developmental coordination disorder, and a host of medical issues. She represents the child at the heart of a lot of our target audience. 

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