BRONZEVILLE — Alice Zhao believes a cartoon owl can teach the world’s children about different languages.
Zhao, a Bronzeville resident, is the co-creator of “Gus on the Go,” an app that debuted in June and has slowly built a following.
The app features “Gus,” a cute owl who flies to various cities in the country, including Chicago, which is included in the English version.
Clicking on the cities reveals lessons and games, which teach children between 2 and 6 visual and audio words for animals, fruit, body parts, shapes and clothing items.
Passing lesson reviews unlocks the next lesson and games, and awards children gold trophies, much like “Angry Birds.”
Twelve languages, including French and Spanish but also Romanian and Taiwanese Mandarin, are available. Zhao said Croatian, Polish, Arabic and Vietnamese apps will be released in the coming months.
The apps, which sell for $4.99, are available on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and will be on Android and Windows 8 this spring, Zhao said.
She said about 1,000 copies of the app have been sold. Her 2-year-old son Dylan already has embraced the Cantonese app.