ABCDiversity is a simple alphabet app but with features that make it very appealing to children from different backgrounds and ethnicities. In addition to an introduction to initial letter sounds, the illustrations provide opportunity to explore diversity in our communities.
Navigation: Children will find it easy to navigate through the app with simple swipes to the left or right. If you wish to hear a screen repeated, simply swipe to the next page and then return.
Illustrations: the graphics are attractive and feature 26 child characters from different ethnicities and with different interests. The characters have been created by 5 different artists from around the world, each with their own artistic style. Some of the characters have special needs, such as Wilson (pictured) who uses a wheelchair, and Gareth, who has a vision impairment and a Guide dog. There is a lot of white space in each screen, making it easy for children to focus on the words and images.
Vocabulary: There is some simple interactivity in each illustration: each picture has 4 hotspots that, when tapped, cause the word to appear and be spoken. My only issue with the app is with the word Leafs. While the developer says this is an accepted use, I haven’t found it in any dictionary, and I know it is not accepted in schools. Children using this app are probably not up to spelling anyway, but it would be good to have the more accepted Leaves or singular Leaf instead.
Narration: The American accented voice is clear and well paced. My children thought it was “pretty good.” I am a stickler for good pronunciation.
External Links: There are some external links to the ABCDiversity website, social media, and email, but these are very subtle and not easy for children to get access to. You’ll find them at the very last screen, and you need to swipe up with two fingers to get access to them. I recommend trying out some of the ideas on the ABCDiversity ideas page (link indicated by 9 tiny squares) as it has some excellent extension ideas for helping your child learn about diversity.
A lot of thought has gone into the illustrations in this app. Care has been taken to have a good mix of male and female characters from many countries and cultures. Each character might have several interests and they are not always stereotypical: a girl may play with dolls, or she might have a space ship. Boys are just as likely to be portrayed pursing artistic interests as they are sporting activities. I’m really pleased to see that the children with special needs are portrayed as having interests too: it isn’t all about their disability. Wilson has an interest in nature, and Gareth is heading off to a party.
While I own a lot of basic ABC apps that work in similar ways, this is the first time I’ve seen one that has some social education opportunities built-in. If you have a child learning their alphabet, this app will help with that plus give them some opportunities to learn more about and celebrate diversity in our communities and in our world.
If you would like to win this app, check out the giveaway on The Appy Ladies website. It finishes on October 17th.
Publisher: Martin Ruegenberg/ Young Ideas
Price: 99 cents