The Baobab is the world's first bilingual ASL and English interactive storybook app that supports literacy development.
The Baobab is an original story about a curious little girl who embarks on an adventure. Complete with enthralling illustrations and talented American Sign Language (ASL) storytelling, this bilingual interactive storybook app features a rich American Sign Language glossary with 170 English to ASL words.
• Original and charming story told in ASL and English!
• Vivid Retina supported watercolor illustrations.
• Easy & accessible navigation designed for children.
• Rich interactive narrative with direct English to ASL vocabulary video translation.
• Audio voice-over provided for all vocabulary words.
• 170-word American Sign Language glossary! Parents can learn ASL along with their child.
• App design is based on proven research in bilingualism and visual learning. The ability to view the story in both, ASL and English leads to greater literacy skills in both languages in young children.
All the revenues go towards research and further development of more storybook apps.
This app has been updated by Apple to use the latest Apple signing certificate.
Updated framework for compatibility with current iOS settings
Ratings and Reviews
Worth the money
As an educator who has to buy my own apps, $6.99 is usually out of my budget for a book. However, I'm happy I spent the money on this one.
I work with Deaf and hard of hearing students, and there are precious few books in English and American Sign Language. This one is beautiful.
The ASL is great (no Signed English here!). The video is sharp and plays well on my iPad 3. The artwork behind the storyteller are beautiful and support comprehension of the narrative without being visually distracting.
Students can read the text independently, watch the story signed, or explore the included English-ASL translation video glossary. One of my favorite features is that students can access the glossary from the text by tapping on an unfamiliar word. Nice!
I would like to have an option of an English voiceover reading the text. This would widen the age of young hearing children and hard of hearing children who could enjoy the story on their own, especially children who are still learning ASL.
I do hope there will be more ASL books coming from this publisher!
Edit: my students and I just discovered a hidden artistic secret in this app! When in the "read" mode, shake your ipad for a cool surprise!
Review by teacher and illustrator
Things that could be improved: the facial expressions of the girl are difficult to read and do not match the facial expressions of the signer telling the story. The mask on the face of the girl is ridiculous. The signer blocks the view of the girl or other characters quite often. The coloring while nicely done is too pastel. The signing, while well done, is much higher than your typical young deaf child with hearing parents who barely sign.
Suggestions: it would be helpful to have a simplified signing option for young children who are deaf and have hearing parents. This way the child could start with the simplified signing. I know from experience young children with limited signing skills will not engage as readily with this type of a signer and book. It's better for them to see it acted out by signers.
I do applaud the use of the app medium to creat signing books in ASL and English. Your price is much too high for an app. I, too, develop apps for children and I have learned the price needs to stay below $3 if you really want parents and teachers to buy the app. Good luck with these apps. It is a good idea.
I really love this video! My 9 year old daughter also loves it! It is really helping her with her signs, now she is more excited about learning signs and being able to communicate more with her Deaf grandparents, which makes me very happy!!! I wish there were more stories! Especially to keep her interest, are there plans for updates with more stories? The signing is so beautiful and the woman signing has such a friendly and inviting face. Very happy to see a deaf woman of color being the language model for so many!! Keep up the good work!!!! (I got another ASL stories app as well, and I must say, the baobab one is much more easy on the eyes, my daughter is more engaged with this one!)
Data Not Collected
The developer does not collect any data from this app.
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- Gallaudet University
- 604.2 MB
- Requires iPadOS 9.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- © Visual Language and Visual Learning, Gallaudet University
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.