With nothing but empty honey pots and a serious rumbly in his tummy, Winnie the Pooh sets out in search of a snack in Letters with Pooh, an interactive educational app from Disney Learning! (October 2012).
Young users help Pooh track down fresh honey in a beehive at the top of a tall tree by tracing letters. Each letter traced (with capital and lowercase options) earns Pooh another balloon to float him higher and higher. Subsequent chapters, featuring all the familiar residents of the Hundred Acre Wood, lead to new games that reinforce the letters learned in chapter one.
Learning is subtly blended with game play, compelling but brief storylines, and a surprisingly sophisticated musical score. Accurate work is rewarded with stickers of achievement that can later be used in the create-your-own-scene sticker activity. Stickers may be hard-won, however, if you fail to trace letters in the app’s approved direction, which may lead to frustration for those early learners — or twenty-something app reviewers — who approach tracings their own way.
The comprehensive parent center allows easy monitoring of progress and achievements for up to four users, but offers little control over increasing or decreasing the difficulty level of activities. In general, allowing more room for variation, in both approach to tasks and difficulty level, would improve the overall experience.
Available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch (requires iOS 4.3 or later); $1.99. Recommended for preschool users.