App of the Week: Extraordinary Jenny Jones

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This week we are featuring a new app, Extraordinary Jenny Jones released by the PaperPlane Company. The app and iBook launched this past week on the AppStore and iBookstore.  I have to say I immediately fell in love with the illustrations and title of the story. I love using tools that teach our kids about being extraordinary and using their imaginations!  Extraordinary Jenny Jones is about a little girl who sees the world through totally different eyes.  What everyone else sees as round, Jenny Jones sees as square. And the other way round.  Aimed at kids aged 6 and up, it’s a wonderful children’s tale about believing in yourself no matter how different you feel about things or even how you see the world.  These types of themes are a big hit in my household as I like to teach that it is okay to be different or to see things differently from those around you.
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The first page opens up and we are able to turn on/off the Sound Effects as well as the Read Aloud feature.  I like that it offers this choice but we really enjoyed the sound effects – very fun and entertaining.  There is also a note to Parents and Teachers that is written by Dr. Neil Reddy who has so many licensed degrees after his name you just know he is qualified in his take on what Jenny’s story lends itself to.  In his words:  Jenny’s story leads children to an important cognitive developmental stage – the discover of perspective (the idea that others view the world differently).
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At the top of each page there is a cute red tassle that brings you back to the Home Page.   You also have the opportunity to work on Interactive Puzzles – five total.  The largest puzzle is quite fun as it takes you all around the local fair.  You can see clowns, ring toss games, acrobats and even the roller coaster in the background.  Each puzzle tells you to work on something different.  For example, in one that features Jenny overlooking a tennis match, we are told to find all the round items.  When we touch them they turn into squares.  There is a timer and a number which tells you how many round items you have to find.  As a kid I loved – who am I kidding, I still love the games where you have to find the hidden item!  This is a great interactive activity for the kids because they not only have to work on shape recognition but also pay attention to the timer and count down to finding all the circles in the illustration.
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The story starts off saying how there are so many Jenny’s and Joneses in the world and it may appear she is just an ordinary eight-year-old girl (I actually knew a girl in high school called Jenny Jones) but in actuality she is quite extraordinary in that what the rest of the world sees as round, she sees things as square.  They used the example of the moon – a great, big silvery ball floating in the sky.  But to Jenny’s eyes when she looked up at the sky, she saw the moon, and it was a silvery thing floating among the stars… but it was square!  The sound effects and animation are really great and draw you into the story. I like the little kitty who appears in the scenes as well.  There are several games throughout the story, such as catching the square (yes, square) fruit in the fruit bowl.  When you miss one, the kitty says Oops and purrs.  This might be a big hit with your kid as my child is obsessed with cats at the moment – she would wear the same kitty t-shirt to school if I let her!  Some other fun activities include watching the goldfish and touching their fish bowl.  When you touch the screen, little bubbles float up and make a bubble-bursting sound.  All of these small details can be found throughout the story to help keep your preschooler on up entertained.
My daughter and I really enjoyed this fun app with all of the great games and gorgeous illustrations.  It is great when apps come along and offer so much.  From the positive message – it is okay to see the world differently and be different to educational aspects  – shape recognition and layer upon layer of games.
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Here is more information from the Paperplane Company website:
Watch the video trailer here:
“Jenny’s story leads children to an important cognitive developmental stage: the discovery of perspective. Children also learn an important moral message, that people will accept them for their alternative viewpoint and that they, in turn, should accept others who are different,” said Dr. Neil Reddy, Paperplane’s education consultant.
Developed especially for the iPad, The Extraordinary Jenny Jones app features:
– More than 20 hand-illustrated interactive story spreads
– Challenging hidden object puzzles to increase children’s powers of observation, memory and dexterity;
– Delightful mini-games to enhance Jenny’s story
The Extraordinary Jenny Jones ebook includes:
– 50 fully illustrated pages and 20 additional pages of bonus content
– Discussion and activity guide developed specially for the ebook by a certified and practising English teacher
– Exclusive interview with the author
You can read more about PaperPlane Company and Extraordinary Jenny Jones here:
Developer website: www.paperplaneco.co

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