Looking for a storybook iPad app service for your kids? Check out Farfaria, a relatively new company. They have over 300 short stories to choose from in their service. The Farfaria storybook iPad app is designed for easy visual navigation. The app, referred to as the “Netflix of storybook apps” by USA Today, is free to download and currently includes a 15 day free trial. After that parents can choose whether or not they’d like to subscribe to the service for a mere $3.99 a month (or just $39.99 for an entire year). At this time the company is also offering an additional free 30 days to folks who refer a friend to subscribe to the Farfaria storybook iPad app.
What is the Storybook iPad app Farfaria Like?
Farfaria is an imaginary land of stories. Children navigate through various genres by choosing villages and towns on a map with just a touch of their finger.
The developers have named the storybook iPad app genres: Animal Kingdom, Adventure Island, Fairytale Forest, Fantasy Falls, Classic Grove, Fable Hills, Good Land, Bedtime Bluffs and Picture Point.
I’ve got three boys. Two are avid readers, one is more reluctant. My oldest is in fourth grade. My second grader enjoyed the storybook iPad app, which captivated his attention for the span of three stories in a row. My youngest boy is in first grade. He noticed us reviewing the storybook iPad app together and decided to see what it was all about. While both my 4th grader and I felt this app wasn’t suited to him, it turned out to be a fantastic fit for my 1st grader. He’s my youngest guy. He’s 6 1/2, and truly loves this storybook iPad app the most. (As a matter of fact he is still sitting beside me as I write the review enjoying the many stories.) All the stories were appropriate for his developmental ability level. He’s an advanced reader, and so comprehension is not a concern for him. But the Farfaria stories are more than just lessons in reading comprehension. The stories themselves are just plain good. There is an entire genre that is devoted to character development (Goodland). We read a story together about bullying that led to a productive discussion. My son enjoyed it so much he asked to read it again on his own.
What you can expect from Farfaria:
- A different narrator for every story.
- A chance to read without narration if you choose.
- Beautiful illustrations (but there isn’t any animation!)
- Narrators read slowly (such a relief for this former special education teacher), but the text does not highlight with the voice.
- Up to 4 new stories a week.
- A chance to access a library of stories offline (great for airports!)
Take a Peek into the Farfaria Storybook iPad app:
Comparing Farfaria to Other Online Options
Our two primary school kids are enrolled in a program called Raz-Kids through Learning A-Z at our school. This program is very similar to Farfaria. Like Farfaria, Raz-Kids has a wide variety of constantly updated books to choose from. Unlike Farfaria, Raz-Kids highlights storybook text with narration. Raz-Kids also includes a comprehension quiz at the end, something Farfaria doesn’t include. But Raz-Kids is only available on the home computer through the internet. And it is only sold to schools through classroom-wide licenses. This makes Farfaria a fantastic deal for homeschool families or parents wanting to supplement a child’s education through after-schooling. Farfaria can also be given as a gift by a caring aunt, uncle, or grandparent.
Tumblebooks is another popular ebook service that is offered through most public library systems. We’ve also taken advantage of Tumblebooks service while at the library. The stories on Tumblebooks are similar to Farfaria, but they are not available on an iPad app. I did find a small Tumblebooks app on iTunes that sells a series of 6 Robert Munsch Tumblebooks for your iPad. It costs a one time fee of $5.99. This is $1 a story. When you consider the price for a year’s worth of stories on Farfaria, 300 of them and counting, each story ends up costing less than 13 cents. That’s a deal. You will be able to read a new story every day, six days a week, for an entire year with a subscription.
Healthy Family was contacted by Farfaria to do a review of their app. This review is an honest opinion by the author. Neither Healthy Family nor Caryn Talty were compensated to write this review. We were given a free subscription to the service in order to review the Farfaria storybook iPad app.