Busy Bee Studios, developer of award winning Even Monsters Get Sick, is back with another equally entertaining and heartwarming book, Even Monsters Are Shy. Even Monsters Are Shy tells the story of Ben and his monster Gurk. Ben receives Gurk as a birthday present and although they have a lot of fun together, they are unable to enjoy group activities because Gurk is extremely shy. Ben wants to take Gurk to see the circus and tries to help him be more comfortable making new friends and being with others, but nothing works. Sadly, Ben gives his circus tickets away. Gurk feels bad and comes up with a plan to make things better. In doing so Gurk surprises not only Ben, but himself as well.
In addition to the endearing story and beautiful artwork, there are also fun interactive items and cleverly constructed games and activities throughout the book. Children will have a blast making freshly squeezed orange juice, juggling balls, washing a car, playing dress up, and trying musical instruments. They will also take part in exciting circus activities like jumping hoops, high diving, balancing on a tightrope, and marshmallow target shooting.
The book has two reading options: Read To Me and I Can Read. In I Can Read, tapping anywhere on the text causes the entire page to be read aloud. I think this is great, but what would be even better is individual word highlighting and reading so that beginning readers who have trouble with a specific word can click on it and hear how it is pronounced. This would also be beneficial in Read To Me mode so that children can follow the narration along easily.
There are external links in the app and the child lock system used is one of the better ones I have seen. In order to access links, parents must solve a random two digit addition equation. Occasionally, this involves having to carry over, making it even harder for younger kids to break through.
I love Even Monsters Are Shy because it teaches that being shy does not define who you are, and that if you let others get to know you, chances are they will love you. I know that many kids, including mine, can relate to Gurk, and this book will give them even more encouragement to meet and make new friends. For my son who has autism, making friends can be very difficult, and a book that includes monsters makes it a lot of fun for him to practice and remember an important communication skill that Ben teaches Gurk: smile and introduce yourself.
Even Monsters Are Shy is a great addition to a child’s app collection. It is a book that will be loved and read over and over again. I know because that is exactly what my children have been doing!
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TheiMums.com on May 2, 2014. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews.
The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America. Guest author Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Busy Bee Studios
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 6 +
Kids play and interact with Ben as he tries to help his monster Gurk overcome his shyness, through 8 games that are intertwined with the action.
Not just a story, the games let the reader push the action forward as kids target-shoot with pies, bounce, balance, juggle, dress-up a monster and more. Plus, every screen has hidden activities and surprises!
Features original music, sound effects, and a professional actor to bring the world to life.