This book is based on one of Aesop's Fables, The North Wind and the Sun. It is a tale about a contest between the sun and the wind to see who is more powerful. This version sticks to the traditional tale very closely and is nicely animated but in a minimalist way. The graphics are cartoon-like and appealing. The narration is clear, although it is often overshadowed by very intense classical music.
The story itself is easy enough to understand, but has an awkward-sounding quality to it, like it's a translation into English from another language. For instance the wind challenges the sun by saying, "When I blow wind, I can move clouds and blow leaves on the ground, but you can only make things warm." The book has simple page turn buttons, but page turn is very slow and the book crashed a couple times during these 'transitions'. There is a 'continue reading' button, but it didn't seem to work if the app crashed, which was the only time I needed it, of course.
The highlight of this book is the interactivity - it lets the child move the story along. When the wind is about to blow as hard as he can, the reader is invited to blow into the microphone. I recommend trying this feature in a quiet room, since at first it didn't seem to work. When we 'read' this book at bedtime, I realized it was the sound that triggers the wind to start blowing. Then it's the sun's turn to try to get the traveler to remove his coat. Now the reader is invited to swirl their finger around the sun. My child loved this part, and smiled brightly as the sun glowed and filled the page with yellow light.
The moral listed is "Gentleness is stronger than harshness," which didn't exactly translate to the usual "persuasion is better than force." A sound bubble next to the wind on the last page takes a stab at re-translation and says, "I guess kind persuasion is better than harshness." But, despite all this book's flaws, my son really loved it. This probably had to do with the cool use of the microphone to simulate blowing. I also really like the way the child became a part of the story; I wouldn't mind seeing this kind of interactivity in more digital books.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Random Universe LLC
5 - 7 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
This story is about a competition between the North Wind and the Sun to decide which is the stronger of the two. The North Wind blows and blows to try and make a passing traveler remove his cloak. But the traveler only wraps his jacket tighter. Then the Sun shines brightly and the traveler starts to sweat and removes his coat. Thus the sun wins the challenge by using persuasion rather than force.
This fable was made famous by its use in phonetic descriptions of languages as an illustration of spoken language. In the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association and theJournal of the International Phonetic Association, a translation of the fable into each language described is transcribed into the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is recommended by the IPA for the purpose of eliciting all phonemic contrasts that occur in English when conducting tests by foreign users or of regional usage. [Source: Wikipedia]