Cool dinosaur app It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex! a bit on the short side

by Caitlin M. Foyt

It's Tyrannosaurus Rex! for Android is like a time machine for young children, taking them back to the time when dinosaurs walked the Earth.

Approved by paleontologists at the Smithsonian Institution, the app is educational as well as entertaining, recreating a prehistoric world with colorful illustrations, music, realistic sound effects and professional narration. It's Tyrannosaurus Rex! tells the story of a female dinosaur who spends her entire day hunting for food.

Afterwards, readers learn some fun facts about the Tyrannosaurus Rex, such as that these beasts were as tall as a two-story building and could be as long as a school bus. It's both fun and engaging for a young reader.

Designed for readers in preschool through the second grade, children can choose from three different ways to experience It's Tyrannosaurus Rex! "Read to Me" narrates the story, and words are highlighted on the screen as they are read, "Read it Myself" allows the child to read as though the app were a traditional book, and "Auto Play" is like a movie, automatically reading and turning the pages. It's a great way to get the young ones excited about reading.

Some of these dinosaurs' names might be too long and complicated for children this age to learn, but what kid doesn't love dinosaurs? While it might be difficult for them to remember every dinosaur featured in the story, they might still able to learn how to sound out and read these words. The app uses picture/word association, which means the words zoom onto the screen and are read aloud when an object on the screen is touched.

There is some replay value because of the handful of ways to experience the app. My key complaint with It's Tyrannosaurus Rex! however, is how quickly the story goes. In my first experience with the story, I had the app read to me and I spent time clicking on all of the objects in the photo. It still took less than 10 minutes to get through. For $2.99, I might have expected the story to take a bit longer to get through. I'm sure a tired mother might feel the same.

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