Reading Train Endless Books, Songs & Games – School Readers by The Learning Station is a digital library of over 200+ picture books kids can read and record created by Libby Curran, educator and author of award winning books. The Reading Train is a great concept for children from the get go. Once you have setup your child’s user account, they can get onboard the reading train and start learning! There is a large collection of reading books to choose from, some covering colours, animals, life science, shapes, maths etc all categorised and covered at three different reading levels.
To access any books, you need to choose a reading level by selecting the level 1, 2 or 3 train. Once a level is chosen, you can pick a book theme off a train cart for example ‘animals’. Once you have chosen from the ‘animals’ range of books, you can pick your book of choice i.e Wild animals, Sea animals, Pets, Farm animals etc. Each book has easy navigation and options to either listen to the book, read the book by yourself, record yourself reading the book or tap on individual words to listen to those. You also have the option to listen to a definition of that word as well. Each book demonstrates new words through the use of simple yet effective stories and illustrations.
Once the child has read the book, they can read about the new words they have just learned and complete a set of quiz questions (spelling, comprehension, phonics etc.) to test their understanding of the book and earn books for their virtual bookshelf, a word crate and coins to use within the app. Children can also listen to and record song books in the music store by spending coins they earned during quizzes.
Even though my daughter is too young to reap the full benefits of this app, she was still interested in tapping along at the images to listen to the words in the books and dance along to the song books.
The main menu is slightly confusing with trains passing by and lots of options to choose from. I wish the menu was setup differently and children were only able to go on one train level at a time. This would ensure that content is covered across books and that they meet the required level before getting onto the next levels. Parents can monitor their child’s reading progress by entering a special grown-ups area which is controlled by a shape test which should be replaced by a simple maths test to make it harder for kids to enter. This version of the app has no in-app purchases which is comforting.
Overall this app is a fantastic learning tool for kids who are starting to learn how to read and for school kids too. It is fun, resourceful and very well designed with lots of instructions and prompts to follow. An easier menu and a reading progression system would make this app perfect!
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TheiMums.com on May 16, 2015. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews.
The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America. The author of this post, Catherine, is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
The Learning Station
The Learning Station, LLC
30 - 90 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 5
Every child can learn to read with this growing library of 200+ playful picture books, songs and games.
"No other app is as specifically tailored to the needs of beginning readers." KinderTown.com
Now beginning readers can listen, read and record, all by themselves.
Special sale price: 60% off for a limited time!
Pay once and receive all the books PLUS regular updates with brand new books at no additional cost!
Play the train game, win coins for the music store, collect and learn new vocabulary words in the train yard.
Created by Libby Curran, a People Magazine Teacher of the Year, based on her award winning books. Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 Technology and Reading Award, International Literacy Association.
Please note this is the same app as Reading Train Learn to Read Books Songs & Games-Free but specifically for schools and families who can't or don't want to make in-app purchases.
"Beautifully designed storybooks and related games that teach foundational reading": Appolicious.com
"A vast selection of mini books to help kids reach reading independence" Geeks With Juniors.
Not just a game or set of e-books but a complete reading curriculum from pre-reading to reading independence, building phonics and vocabulary skills, self confidence and a love of reading.
Safe for Kids: The Learning Station is a Proud Member of Moms With Apps
Kid tested and teacher approved. We are ad-free and take our users privacy seriously.
* Listen, read and record books at 3 different beginning reading levels.
* Professional narration: American English. All books can be recorded by users.
* Play the train game after every book.
* 450+ word integrated dictionary
* 20 sing along song books
* Unlimited user accounts and individual bookshelves
* Powerful reporting tools
Books Kids CAN Read.
Written by Libby Curran, a People Magazine Teacher of the Year, these fun little books are field tested in real classrooms to get kids started on the path to reading independence.
Books Kids LOVE to Read.
Children are naturally curious, so encourage them to explore our leveled books on numbers, colors, animals, shapes, and science. Beginning readers need to read little books, but the Reading Train's unique design allows kids to explore big ideas, reading to learn at the same time as they learn to read. After reading, they can play the train quiz game, explore the audio dictionary and sing along with song books.
Give Your Kids the Tools to Succeed.
Stuck on a word? Tap and hold to hear every word and access the built in dictionary filled with hundreds of words. Play a unique quiz game at the end of every book to extend the learning. The Reading Train is packed full of tools to help children succeed, all on their own.
Read To Learn- Meets Common Core Standards
Kids can choose funny fiction and fascinating nonfiction on kid-friendly topics to build background knowledge while improving reading comprehension and foundational skills.
Quizzes Disguised as Games.
Play the train game after finishing every book, but don't tell them it's a quiz! Check progress on the parent's page which shows books read and recorded and detailed scores on the quizzes.
The Right Team for the Job
The Reading Train is the culmination of 30+ years of teaching experience. Backed by an all-star team of teachers turned iOS developers and a professional children's musician,
the Reading Train is serious about making learning fun.