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Endless Numbers app review

endless numbers menuRegular readers of this blog will recognize the name Originator — I’m a big fan of the developer’s Endless Alphabet and Endless Reader apps. Endless Numbers (Originator, March 2014) continues this great series of concept-learning apps.

The app opens with an image of a Ferris wheel, full of the now-familiar cute monster characters. Each number-labeled Ferris wheel car shows a thumbnail preview image for that number’s page; touch any car to skip to that specific number, or proceed chronologically from 1.

Each brightly colored, monster-featured numeral is introduced on a graph-paper-printed background as a pleasant narrator gives its name; then the monsters knock the numeral askew. Users drag the numeral into its correct place (first in counting chronology, then in a simple addition problem) marked with a faint outline.

endless numbers counting

Finally, the monsters star in a brief animation offering a humorous contextual scenario for its numerical value. The animation for “1,” for example, shows a monster wobbling along on a unicycle; the narrator explains, “It is hard for Little Blue to ride a unicycle because it only has 1 wheel.”

The numeric concepts are subtly reinforced in a variety of ways throughout the app. Each monster-fied numeral has the corresponding amount of eyes and other appendages; many other elements of the animations (e.g., four monster babies with four arms each in a four-wheeled stroller) also relate to the featured number. Tap the screen during the animations for a fireworks-like shower of the correct numeral.

endless numbers 4

This is a painless and entertaining way to introduce basic number value and counting concepts. And — a smart choice — the app requires no reading, making it suitable for very young users (and not overwhelming those who are learning to read with too much information at once).

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 5.0 or later). The free preview offers numbers 1 through 5; download the 6-20 pack for $5.99 or the 6-100 pack for $11.99. Recommended for preschool and early primary users.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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