Be a Buddy, Not a Bully is a sweet story that stars Harvest the farmer, who is upset that Buck the Banker is digging in his corn field for treasure. Buck is a mean guy who bullies poor old Harvest, refusing to leave his fields alone.
The two have a serious disagreement, with Buck insisting to dig on Harvest’s land and threatening to tell everyone that poor Harvest grows rotten vegetables if he is not allowed to do so. Harvest stands up for himself and tells the Buck how he feels, solving his problem without violence.
This is a gorgeously illustrated app, with rich colors and animated pages. Every page has an interactive element, and kids will be able to tap on corn plants and characters to release birds and hear special conversations.
The storyline is compelling, and will definitely have children interested from the beginning. I loved the narration, which was clear, concise, and easy to understand. It may come as a surprise, but not all books for children have good narration. Be a Buddy, Not a Bully uses different, distinct voices for each character, and the added sound effects are well done.
As the story is spoken, words are displayed on the screen. As they are read, words are highlighted in yellow, so young readers can follow along to learn new vocabulary.
You can also choose to turn the narration off, so that kids can be read to by an adult or so they can read the book themselves.
When the story is over, there are discussion questions included, such as: “What does it mean to be a bully?” and “Why is it wrong?” to prompt questions between parents and children. It also makes this a great book for the classroom, if bullying is an issue.
What I liked: This is a good story that’s both entertaining and instructive. It’s got fantastic graphics that look amazing on the third generation iPad.
What I didn’t like: Some of the interactions were repetitive, such as the bird in the corn. I would have liked to see more unique animations.
To buy or not to buy: At just $0.99, this book is a bargain. I think it’s a great choice for young kids, to teach them about empathy and kindness.
- App Name: Be a Buddy, Not a Bully
- Version Reviewed: 0.9
- Category: Games
- Developer: Midlandia Press
- Price: $0.99