The Magic Town map on the iPad

The Magic Town map on the iPad

We love reading in our house.

So we thought we would do a Magic Town app review for the iPad. Little Star was particularly looking forward to getting his mits on this one….probably because I’m a librarian and so reading is more or less required in our house. Unless you are Brad of course, and then you just read books about amazing cycling achievements…

The idea of the app is that you get to explore a town, and can download books from the buildings in the town; with a new book appearing at the Story Tree in the town each day. A lovely lion looks after the tree and chats to you while your book downloads…

Cost – FREE 10/10 Subs 7/10, but 9/10 if you use eBooks regularly; unlike us

Erm…it’s got a free version! So that’s a 10. The great thing about this is that you still get one free book a day; so you get some variety without forking out. However, this does give it a limited shelf life with the kids.

The books that are included as standard in the free version are typically the classics, but you get much more contemporary titles with the paid for subscriptions, and you can also buy them individually. We even had Elmer for free once…so they were well entertained that day! Contemporary titles definitely sneak into the daily book list.

Subscription costs are currently reduced at:

  • £7.99 for 1 month
  • £39.99 for 6 months
  • £49.99 for 12 months.

Ease of use 7/10

We had a few teething problems at first; Chatterbox couldnt get a new book from the story tree each day, and we lost our downloaded titles on upgrade. However the support was great and the updates seem to have addressed these bugs. In particular, the latest update allows users to place the characters on the Magic Town map, so you know which character books are located where; as well as knowing what books you have access to in each house.

Magic Town Review: Louis the story-gathering lion

Magic Town Review: Louis the story-gathering lion

Stickability 8/10

The kids have enjoyed it, but the chargeable copy is likely to give you much more lasting entertainment. There are plenty of free books to keep the kids going for a bit, though some of these your children may have heard many times before; depending on whether they are avid readers or not. The story-gathering lion, Louis, travels the world on his airship getting you a new story everyday. And that new story is currently being employed to great use so mummy can have a shower in the morning, so for that we thank you! *nolongersmells*

Age Appropriateness 2-6 years 9/10

The app is great for this, it tailors the books for the age of the children based on their user profile. And it was obvious that books were well chosen for Stuntboy and Chatterbox. Little Star was impressed here!

Overall 8/10

An excellent free application and if you like to read eBooks and want some lovely, interactive picture books on the iPad, then the paid version is probably for you. However, we just don’t use the iPad to read enough to make the payment worthwhile. Bet the kids force me to change this as they grow up and start stealing it from me though.

In case you are interested, Chatterbox rates this a 10/10 – but she isn’t as harsh as Little Star is she?

Helen

Helen is a mum to two, and social media consultant and website editor. Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts now works with big family brands to help them promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. Helen also helps other organisations with their social media and blogging strategies, including working part-time as a community manager with Truprint. She can often be found hanging about on social media, and trying to avoid stepping on the Lego her kids keep leaving lying around.