Our Overall rating: 4.5
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Collins Big Cat: At the Dump Story Creator

June 10, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

An exceptional series from Harper-Collins that includes an extension 'story creation' feature for young storytellers!

The Collins Big Cat series was created in the past decade by UK based Collins Education, the third-largest educational publishing house in the United Kingdom, and an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. At the Dump, based on the print title by Claire Llewellyn and Ley Honor Roberts, was published in 2007. According to the description:

"This book focuses on the core topics of biology with a friendly writing style and vivid illustrations while exploring current "real world" issues. A seven-part organization covers atoms, molecules, and cells; energy and life; genetics; evolution and the diversity of life; human anatomy and physiology; and plant anatomy and physiology. For anyone interested in increasing their biological literacy - enabling them to make informed decisions at the ballot box and understand the research findings they see in the news." [Source: Amazon]

In digital form, this series features light animation and interactivity, along with intuitive navigation. Words highlight word-for word and tapping the screen rewards young fingers with effects that engage but don't distract from the narrative. There is also a section for parents and educators with tips to get more out of reading with young children. The story creation tool is superb as well. It allows children to not only record their own version of this story, but to also create a new scene with images from the story. This could, with adult help, extend this app's educational potential. According to the publisher,

"The perfect way to develop essential literacy skills and transfer good reading to great writing. This book has been carefully levelled for children aged 4+."

Overall, this series is exceptional, with top-notch storybooks paired with an educational tool to create your own books within the app. All the titles are based on a well-loved print series and thoughtfully tailored for the learning needs of emergent readers.


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.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Collins Big Cat: At the Dump Story Creator

June 10, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

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Claire Llewellyn/Ley Honor Roberts

Harper Collins Publishers Limited

Length (time):
5 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 8 +

English •

Length (pages):
13 Pages


Story Synopsis - Collins Big Cat: At the Dump Story Creator

From iTunes:

Develop your children’s reading and writing skills with Collins Big Cat interactive book and Story Creator, from the primary literacy specialists at Collins Education.

The perfect way to develop essential literacy skills and transfer good reading to great writing. This book has been carefully levelled for children aged 5+.


• An animated, interactive book that brings the story to life
• Audio narration, music and sound effects to aid language learning – read along with the narration as the words are highlighted 
• Opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills by recording your own narration and sound effects - perfect for storytelling and to hear progression
• Hidden surprises to discover on every page and a Collins Big Cat quiz to see what you can remember
• Transfer reading to writing using Story Creator: make your own book using pictures, characters and key vocabulary from the story, transforming readers into writers
• Practical guidance for adults helping children to develop their reading, writing and communication skills


Where does the paper go? Where does the glass go? What else can we recycle at the dump? A family trip to the local rubbish dump allows children to practise their own recycling skills – can you drag the correct rubbish into the bins? Help the characters tidy up so that all the household waste is thrown away.

This popular reading series is used and trusted by over 9000 UK primary schools, as well as English-speaking schools all over the world. Now available on the App Store for the first time, we’ve brought the quality that teachers, parents and children have come to expect to our digital versions of the books.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad


Read To Me, Read Myself, Story Creator (Scene, Object, Character, Text, Listen, Record), Home, Help, PageGuide, Parent Tips, Credits, Links: Web, AppStore, Email, Facebook, Twitter

App Release Date:


Size: 45.06 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



Collins Big Cat: At the Dump Story Creator

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