Builda the Re-Bicycler is a charming storybook app for iPad with interactive elements that teaches children about recycling in a way that is creative and thoughtful. Read this story to oneself, or listen to the author’s included well-executed narration.
I really enjoy this story with bright color choices and interesting, stylized characters that really creates an immersive world of Midlandia where the residents are very dependent on their bikes for transportation yet are quick to toss their bike in the landfill for the slightest problem – much to the chagrin of the bike builder, Builda, who devises a plan to fix broken bikes with the use of recycled bike parts instead of constantly building new bikes for residents.
The look of this story has a lovely modern feel which I find refreshing, also including the panning and zooming of these illustrations, focusing readers’ attention for a nice effect. There are also a few scenes of characters tossing their bikes into a mountainous landfill that will resonate with readers young and old alike.
Animated moments as well as interactive elements are also included, with subtle hints sometimes offered, as well as a few sound effects and other details hidden and waiting to be found.
I have always been a fan of tales such as “How the Leopard Got his Spots” so I have had a lot of fun with this tale of how the concept and word “recycle” was born – here as a shortened version of the word Re-Bicycle.
I admire how this story is written in a way that Builda solves a problem and teaches about recycling by her example yet is never preachy or heavy-handed about eco-themes which can be preachy and off-putting.
Parents will also enjoy some fun details, such as an artist character Vincent who is seen painting his stylized variation of famous paintings such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
It is also nice how a few study questions are included at the end of this book, but I was unable to find the hidden Easter eggs throughout – a disappointment for myself. It would be nice if hints as to how to find these Easter eggs could be an option within the app itself or as part of the menu which also offers options such as easy access to the pages of this book, sound muting and a replay button to re-hear the scene when listening to the included narration.
Another mild note is that I wish the sounds of sirens or other horns as bike accessories found as hotspots could be turned off with another tap of a finger as my son is not a fan of these sounds. For us it is preferable to be able to silence these noises instead of having to let them play through.
Builda the Re-Bicycler is visually quite pleasing and includes a really nice message that children can learn from. For this reason, it is easy to recommend Builda the Re-Bicycler, and I would love to know more about Midlandia and its inhabitants.
Builda the Re-Bicycler
Developer: Midlandia Press
Released: 2012-04-20 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperBuilda the Re-Bicycler is an eco-conscious fable that will engage, educate, and inspire your young reader.
** "The app is simply one of the best-made we’ve seen." - theiPhoneAppReview.com **
** "This is a really great buy." - PadGadget **
** "Thoughtful and polished throughout." - Digital Storytime **
** "A well-done and importantly-themed ebook that I recommend downloading." - Smart Apps For Kids **
The island of Midlandia is bicycle-crazy - but a problem seems to be piling up. When the town dump overflows with discarded bikes, Builda the factory owner springs into action. Can her plan to reduce, reuse, and recycle save the day?
With custom music, audio, and special effects, this digital book from Midlandia Press (creators of The Pirate Koostoe for the iPad) gives young readers an entertaining and educational experience they will want to relive again and again. To help develop early reading skills, each word of the story is highlighted as it is read. Combining vibrant illustrations, thoughtful storytelling, and various forms of interactivity, Builda the Re-Bicycler is a clever character-builder that will appeal to readers of all ages while encouraging social consciousness.
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
• All-original musical compositions
• Pages pan and zoom to guide the eye and accentuate the story
• Animation and interactive touch elements
• Hidden “Easter egg” elements
• Story narration by the author
• End-of-story discussion questions to encourage reader reflection
Builda the Re-Bicycler 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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