Word Book and Puzzle Box HD

Reviewed by J. Lawson.

Word Book and Puzzle Box HD by Anlock Apps is an educational, yet engaging app for the iPad. There are two modes of play within this app. Word Book reinforces and teaches letters, spelling and phonics in a progressive method. Puzzle Box is a series of puzzles that increase in difficulty as you master each level.

Word Book and Puzzle Box is extremely simple to set up and has some really nice features. You have the ability to create 4 personalized rooms. Each room can be decorated with toys and items as they are earned by completing levels in either Word Book or Puzzle Box. You can upload a photo for each player, select a room based on color of bed, and enter the Childs name. Those settings are saved and can be edited and removed at any time to add additional players. One of the great features of this app, is the ability to lock settings with a password so that a child may not go into the puzzles or word books of another child. Each game has three levels of difficulty. Once a level is completed, a star is earned. When you accumulate 5 stars can redeem them for toys and decorations for your room. When you are finished playing, all levels are saved and you can finish up where you left off. There are currently 30 words of animals and 40 puzzles for this app. There is also the option to purchase additional words and puzzles through in-app purchases. Another feature is the ability to turn the speaker off. However, the background music is pleasant and the voice is a great motivator and reinforces play within the games.

Word Book has three levels of play. Before you can unlock a word book, you must complete at least one level of the previous word. You can unlock all 30 words simply by completing the first level of each. Level one teaches capital letter recognition, sounds and spelling of animal names. There are letter visuals within the blocks to help a child place the correct letters in the correct order to spell the name. Once placed in the blocks, each letter is phonetically sounded out. When all letters are placed, the entire word is sounded out and the name of the animal is pronounced which is great for pre-readers. Level two works on the same word using lower case letters. There are no letter visuals in the blocks to match, but the letters are color coded to assist in placement. Level three works on lower case letters as well, but there are no visual cues in the blocks. Word Book does not allow a child to place an incorrect letter in the blocks. All three levels work on letter recognition, phonics and spelling. For each level completed, a star is earned. Once 5 stars have been achieved it lets you choose an item for your room.

Puzzles Box also has 3 levels of difficulty and 40 puzzles to unlock. Level one has pictures within the puzzle to assist in placement of the pieces. As you unlock the puzzles, level one puzzles increase in the number of pieces making it more challenging. Level two does not have picture hints within the puzzle making it slightly more difficult. Once a piece is placed correctly there is a distinct clicking sound letting the child know correct placement has been made. Level three has a unique feature that is great for fine motor skills. The puzzle pieces are not arranged in the standard drag and place fashion. In order to correctly place a puzzle piece, you must manipulate the pieces with two fingers to rotate it to fit in the puzzle. This level of play is much more challenging than any of the other levels. Once a level is achieved a star is also earned and once 5 stars have been accumulated you are taken to choose a reward for your room.

Overall, Word Book and Puzzle Box is a fantastic educational app that works on early literacy skills as well as hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and problem solving. Earning rewards that allow you to decorate your room is motivating and engaging for young children. This app is one that will grow with your child and reinforce valuable skills needed in the learning environment.

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