Chuck the Truck: Friends for the Long Haul by Ruckus Media Group (universal app $3.99) provides a whopping 74 pages of trukin’ fun for little minds to soak up. The charming storyline features the loveable Chuck the Truck and his four-wheeled friends. Parents will be glad to know that this story isn’t mindless fluff, but rather promotes honesty, friendship and the fact that differences are a good thing between friends.
As with most digital storybooks, this one offers a pre-recorded narrator option, a “Read to myself” option, but also adds one more wonderful variation: record your own voice reading the story for future playback. This is a great option for when grandma and grandpa are visiting and your little one would love to relive their voices reading about Chuck and Friends even after their visit is over.
Throughout the story, Chuck learns the importance of being honest with his mom, accepting new friends, and appreciating the gifts and differences of his pals. There are several mini plots within the book and morals woven throughout each one. Your little guy will love meeting Chuck’s new friends Flip and Monster Truck.
After reading through several pages, it seemed as if this was a bare-bones book app. I didn’t see much distraction or opportunities for interaction with the story. The words were individually highlighted as they were read, but that was about it. Soon, though, bits of animation were woven through the story and there were a few mini games appropriately places when a question arose within the story. These mini games called for such skills as matching and seeking.
The book is long but I’m not complaining about this – Ruckus wants to make sure readers get their money’s worth. On each page, a slider bar can take readers to any page they wish to navigate to without having to swipe around a dozen times. I would, however, like to see the story chapters all represented on the main menu for even easier access. I would also love to see a bit more variety as far as the mini games are concerned.
If your little guy can’t get enough of cars and is in love with Hasbro’s Chuck (the perfect truck collection for little hands – our kids love them), this book will delight him. And be thankful he's not yet asking you how to find a girl! This lovable group of four-wheeled friends are sure to satisfy every preschool boy’s appetite for things that go “vroom”…at least for a few minutes.