The Boy Who Cried Wolf- VL2 Storybook App

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The Review

This is an excellent app.  Malzkuhn and her Deaf team bring together vibrant aesthetics and function in this retelling of a classic folk story.  The signer, Justin Jackerson, charms viewers with an unique rendition of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" with just enough details not to distract from the story. His signs are clear, accurate, and expressive, although his tempo is a bit fast.

The app has three modes: “Watch,” “Read,” and “Learn.”  One can view the whole story in sign language with animated illustrations in the background, "read" the story and view the signer on each page, or learn the vocabulary words only.  

This storybook app is a pioneer in its own right, promoting balanced bilingualism. However, there could be more interactive features to help connect ASL and English. The interface is easy enough for a three year old to navigate, while the interactive features and vocabulary are more appropriate for older children or for younger ones with parental guidance.  

This is a personal favorite of mine--I highly recommend it! 

More Information

  • Publisher: Gallaudet University, Visual Language and Visual Learning Center
  • Producer: Melissa Malzkuhn
  • Signer: Justin Jackerson
  • Illustrator: Pamela Witcher
  • Deaf-based app (Creator, author, app developer)
  • Compatibility: iPad only (i0S 6.0 or later)
  • Videotaped signer
  • Year: 2014
  • $4.99 (or can be bought as a bundle)
  • One of multiple apps developed by the publisher.
  • Features as taken from the iTunes store preview: 
    • Talented and professional ASL storytelling by Justin Jackerson
    • Original artwork by renowned artist Pamela Witcher•
    • Easy and accessible navigation designed for children
    • Retina supported images
    • Over 140 vocabulary words in American Sign Language!
    • Perfect tool for parents learning ASL along with their child! Read together!
    • Audio voice-over provided for all vocabulary words.
    • App features page by page videos, as well as a full ASL story with animations!

Disclaimer: This review was not written by a member who has an affiliation with Visual Language and Visual Learning, NSF's Science of Learning Center at Gallaudet University.