We are most definitely book lovers in this family. I grew up loving to read, always had my nose stuck in a book, even while walking to school. Now it appears our children are following in our footsteps. When they were younger we were reading books together all the time, books to go with our letter of the week, books to go with our units or the upcoming holidays, and of course, just random books here and there. Now, Tabitha is starting to zing through chapter books and Amelia is right on her heels, though her books are a bit on the easier side of course. Hannah and Harold love sitting and looking at books. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to review this really cool book app called FarFaria, "a magical place where stories live"!
With FarFaria we have unlimited access to over 800 illustrated children's books, with 5 more books being added each week. There are a wide selection of books available for preschoolers through 4th grade. Each of the books is given an appropriate grade level on a scale starting at PreK and moving into A-S in the FAZ system. As you can see from the image below, each grade level has a range of 3-5 letters in this system. This system allows parents (or teachers) to keep track of a child's reading progress. An independent review has been done by MetaMetrics which "ensures accurate measurements of text complexity." This system is Common Core- Aligned to "help children excel in reading." Farfaria also contains songs which have not been assigned a level.
The information about each level can be found in the "Parents" section of the app. You will be able to see if your child is developmentally ready for certain levels. However, even if a child can not read the story independently, they can still enjoy the story.
Here, let's look at the app a little closer.
When the child starts up the app, recommendations are loaded onto the home screen:
A child can see selections in the following categories:
- Recently Read
- Popular Now
- Tales for Hanukkah (currently)
- Christmas Stories (currently)
With over 800 books to choose from, you can understand that not all the books will be found on the homepage. Those are just the recommendations for the child. By clicking the "Explore" button (with the world icon) a child will be led to the map of the World of Stories.
This map includes what you see above, but it also encompasses the screen to the right and the left as the child scrolls. A child can choose to visit:
- Animal Kingdom
- Mt. Make Believe
- Adventure Island
- Fairy Tale Falls
- Classics Grove
- Bed Time Bluffs
- Preschool Playground
- Genius Jungle
- Looney Lagoon and
- Sing-Along City
The children's favorite is Fairy Tale Falls.
There is a huge selection of books in each category. They appear to be randomly organized, however, you can choose to sort them by pressing the blue and white sort icon in the top, left-hand corner of the screen. Books can be sorted 4 different ways:
- Most Popular
- Reading Level
- Title A-Z
A child can also choose to go to the "My Favorites" page where they will find the books the have"favorited" during previous reading times.
As you can see from the images, the reading level is noted in the bottom, right-hand corner of each book. I stated above that the children are not limited to reading at their level, which is also illustrated in their favorited books above. Farfaria allows a child to choose between reading the book themselves or having it read to them.
The children prefer to have stories read to them.
They love gathering together on the couch and listening to story, after story, after story...well, you get the idea. They usually choose to have the book "Auto Play" the story. This allows them to sit back and listen to the story with no work on their part. If they choose "Read to Me" they have to click the screen to turn the page.
Be aware that Farfaria contains original stories and stories that have been adapted from the original tales and are retold with different illustrations. This in no way lessens the enjoyment the children receive from listening to the stories. Apps are available for Android, iPad, or iPhone.
I love reading stories to the children during our daily story time. The children enjoy reading books by themselves. But the FarFaria app has added a new dimension to the enjoyment of stories in this house. I don't always have time to sit and read, and the children sometimes would prefer to have a story read to them. I love that with this app, this is possible whenever the reading bug bites.
You can find FarFaria on their site and they also have a blog. Additionally, you can follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Your child(ren) can read one story a day for free by downloading the app. However, you can purchase a subscription to have unlimited access to all 800+ stories for just $4.99 a month. A yearly subscription can also be purchased for significant savings, just $39.99 a year.
Disclosure: I received a 6 month subscription to the Android FarFaria app in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.