- Excellent graphics and interface
- Cute sound effects
- Audio version included
Oceanhouse Media’s The Cat in the Hat app (US$3.99) recreates the classic Dr. Seuss book for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. To put it simply, iPhone users with kids should run -- don’t walk -- to iTunes to download this app.
We cover more top picks in our article on the best iPhone apps for kids.
A new way to read a classic story
The Cat in the Hat iPhone app comes with three options: you can read the book yourself, listen to a self-paced audio recording, or play it like a movie so the pages turn automatically. The self-paced audio recording is great because your child can listen and read along at the same; the words are highlighted as they are read. The app waits for you to turn the page -- so it feels like reading an actual book -- but it disrupts the flow of the audio recording a little bit.
The auto-play option flows better, but it obviously doesn’t wait if your child falls behind on the reading. Even so, the recording is paced well and most kids should be able to follow along just fine. The Cat in the Hat app also includes an option to read the book without the corresponding audio recording. As you move through the book, tapping on some items (house, table, etc.) reads them aloud.
The graphics are bright and crisp, and Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations look as good as ever. I tested The Cat in the Hat app on my iPhone, but I would bet that it looks even more impressive on the iPad’s large display.
As a side note, Oceanhouse Media makes a similar app for Green Eggs and Ham (US$3.99), which is probably my favorite children’s book of all time.
The Bottom Line
The Cat in the Hat iPhone app is an impressive mix of education and entertainment. Kids will love the illustrations and audio recording, and the app will get them more involved in reading at the same time. The graphics, audio, and interface are all high quality. This app is definitely worth a download for anyone with kids. Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5.
What You’ll Need