Be a Buddy, Not a Bully – A Tales of Midlandia Storybook is a very nice storybook about bullying, part of a series of apps taking place in the bold and colorful world of Midlandia, as these apps contain a wonderful sense of style which makes them easily recognizable as well as stand out in a sea of storybooks – each tackling social issues as well as simply being enjoyable to read and interact with.
Enjoyable narration by the story’s author is included as is highlighted text, allowing one to read this book for oneself is an option, as is auto play. Do search these pages for hidden interactions, including some extra dialogue of these characters – always a nice touch.
I am very pleased by the way this storybook app looks, as the included illustrations are full of bright colors and many details, using the pan and zoom technique to focus the reader’s attention. I have not, however, found the hidden Easter eggs on either of the two apps from this series that I have enjoyed reading. I do wish hints were included to help those who would still like to find these extras, especially as this is a children’s app.
The story of the Be a Buddy, Not a Bully revolves around kind and gentle farmer Harvest, and bully banker Bo, who insists on digging up Harvest’s land to look for buried treasure and is unwilling to listen to reason when Harvest asks him to stop – instead threatening him with slander, saying he will tell others that Harvest’s fruit is rotten if he is not allowed to keep digging.
Greatly saddened, Harvest writes about his feelings which is later shared with Bo during mediation of sorts, causing Bo to have an epiphany, turning him from bully to buddy of Harvest, concluding with a feel-good ending.
I think this is a worthwhile story children can learn from, with positive points such as Harvest asking for help with his situation as well as Bo learning empathy for his new friend. As an adult, I found it hard to believe the change Bo shows as he develops as a person so greatly, from threatening to spread vicious lies which would greatly affect Harvest’s livelihood to becoming a friend from reading Harvest’s journal about his feelings. Unfortunately, the bully that children may meet most likely will not become evolved human beings as easily as Bo does, possibly leaving children disappointed if their experiences with bullies do not turn out so smoothly.
Having said this, this is a cute and fun story with some nice questions parents can share with their children about what it means to be a bully, why it is wrong and what to do about it.
As this app tackles difficult social issues, this would make a nice story for both home and school settings. I think children will enjoy this tale, the great use of color and happy ending a great deal. Parents may or may not feel the need to explain to their children that dealing with bullies may not work out this way in real life, but this fact does not take away from this being a nice story, as are the others in this series of apps. I hope more apps from Midlandia are developed in the future.
Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook
Developer: Midlandia Press
Released: 2012-08-16 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperA timely tale about sharing, fairness, and friendship that will open the mind and heart of your young reader.
** "A gorgeously illustrated app...both entertaining and instructive." - PadGadget **
** "Great for discussing a difficult subject with kids." - theiPadfan.com **
Harvest the farmer has a problem. Mean old Buck is digging around on his land and refuses to leave! Can gentle Harvest handle Buck’s bullying on his own? Or will he need help?
With custom music, audio, special effects, retina-optimized art, and iPad-exclusive story content, this digital book from Midlandia Press (creators of The Pirate Koostoe and Builda the Re-Bicycler for the iPad) gives young readers an entertaining and educational experience with loads of interactivity on every page.
To help develop early reading skills, each word of the story is highlighted as it is read. Combining vibrant illustrations, thoughtful storytelling, and plentiful yet carefully chosen enhancements, Be a Buddy, Not a Bully is a heartfelt social story that will appeal to readers of all ages, while encouraging the values of kindness and open dialog.
In addition to a touching story, this app features a great deal of story content previously unavailable in print. To enhance the story’s message about the importance of communication, readers can touch every character on every page to hear their internal thoughts. This feature includes over fifty new lines of dialog, provided by the story’s original author.
This digital book can be enjoyed in three modes:
• Read-to-me – listen to the narrated story with words highlighted as they are read
• Read-to-myself – read the story in its traditional form
• Auto-play – story is narrated, with automatic page turns. Perfect for younger children!
Additional features include:
• Detailed, colorful artwork
• Retina optimization
• All-original musical compositions
• Custom-made sound effects
• Pans and zooms to guide the eye and accentuate the story
• “Tilt” and “shake” pages
• Dozens of character-based interactions
• Multi-touch elements that reward repeat interaction
• Story narration by the author
• End-of-story discussion questions to encourage reader reflection
Be a Buddy, Not a Bully is part of the "Tales of Midlandia" series, a wonderful collection of humorous, enriching, and thought-provoking stories brought to you online and in print by Midlandia Press. Each story deals with universal concepts and social situations that are relatable to any young child or parent. From bullying to bad dreams, from table manners to temper tantrums—the Midlandians experience it all. The series debuted on the iPad with The Pirate Koostoe in December of 2011. With a cast of nearly thirty characters, more “Tales” are soon to follow…
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