App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2013
Kid In Story Book Maker
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Kid in Story Book Maker

Easy-to-make personalized stories can help boost social skills

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
Pre-K–1
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

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5 images

Pros: Impressive green-screen technology extracts kid's image from the background.

Cons: Only a few templates currently available, but developer promises more.

Bottom Line: A must-have story creation tool for teachers in special-needs settings.

Occupational therapists, speech therapists, and teachers can create social stories for kids featuring kids they are working with, to help kids prepare for new situations or adapt to a routine. Kids can easily create their own stories, too, using pictures of themselves. The templates currently on the app include: Faces iMake, Let's Get a Haircut, What Will I See in San Francisco?, Are Monsters Hiding in My Room?, On the Playground, When Is It Time to Wash My Hands?, and A Day at the Movies. The developer promises more templates to come.

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Kid in Story Book Maker is a storytelling app for iOS that includes several template stories where teachers, therapists, parents, or older kids can add their image right into the story. With the impressive green-screen technology, it's easy to extract a person's image from a photo and eliminate the background, so just the picture of a person can be dropped into the scenes in the book. Teachers or therapists can create custom books from scratch using their own images and words, or they can add a kid's image into existing social story templates. Add your own text and record your voice, as well. The developers also have a free reader app available, so you can share the books with others for at-home reading too.

Though many storybook creation apps exist, Kid in Story Book Maker is unique. Even with a relatively hefty price tag, its social story focus makes it a valuable asset for kids, especially those with special needs who require extra help with social or communication skills. A video tutorial shows exactly how to use the tool, which is so easy to manipulate that kids will quickly be able to create their own stories and insert themselves or their friends into them. The green-screen technology that finds the person within the picture and extracts him or her is pretty impressive. Even if it's wrong at first, it's easy to change the parameters to extract only the person's image from the background. Kids can easily share their storybooks, too, even with friends and family who do not buy the app, since there is a free reader available for download. Ways to use Kid in Story Book Maker are limitless -- from creating stories to prepare kids for new situations, to describing emotions using text and images (or spoken word) in therapeutic settings, to creating stories on any topic in any class.

Overall Rating

Engagement

What's more exciting to kids than reading stories or publishing their own? Starring in those stories!

Pedagogy

Creating social stories allows kids to see themselves in different situations before they encounter them, which may ease anxiety. This approach can be very successful with kids on the autism spectrum.

Support

Easy-to-follow tutorial video shows kids, parents, and teachers how to create or alter stories.


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Community Rating

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Lyndsey G. , Other
Other
Great way to get students excited about writing!
This is a great way to get students excited about literacy and writing in general. They get to write a story, be involved in the process and it scaffolds to meet all needs. The pictures were so fun and inviting.
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