Binky the Pink Elephant is a story about a young elephant that feels out of place because of her skin color. She is bright pink while the rest of the herd is a more traditional grey. As a result she is convinced that the herd doesn't accept her completely and feels self-conscious. She wanders off on adventures and spends most of her time alone to cope with being different. Then one day she rolls in some grey mud and looks like the other elephants when she returns.
Binky thinks she has solved her 'pink' problem, until one of the elephants approaches her and says, "Binky I have to say, you once had beautiful, pink skin and now it's dreary and grey." She responds, "You, you liked my skin?" "Oh yes we did, it was our obsession," the other elephants chime in. So it turns out Binky is actually valued more for her pink skin and she feels much better about herself and sees that her difference makes her special. As a parent I liked the emphasis on being different and learning to accept and even appreciate that fact.
I was, however, a little put off by the second message of the book, which was basically that skin color did matter, and in fact the other grey elephants valued their own skin color less as a result of being 'obsessed' with Binky's pink skin. One elephant even says about her pink skin, "Oh how I wished it was me," adding that his own skin was an "average grey that's flat and dour." When I asked my son what the message of the book was, he said that 'pink' skin was better than grey. I'm not so sure this is a good message for kids in a world that is not yet 'color' blind.
Otherwise this is an adorably illustrated and nicely narrated title without any other stimulating features, making it a good bedtime read. And I will admit that while the story itself is a bit flawed from a teaching perspective about skin color, I did find it a useful way to begin a conversation about being different with my son, which is often a difficult but important topic to talk about with young children. We talked in particular about how we might continue the story, so that the grey elephants could begin to feel good about their beautiful skin, too.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Sonowa Jackson/Jaclyn Mednicov
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Binky is a pink elephant that is convinced that all the other elephants (who are grey) are whispering about her funny skin color. This makes her sad and she wanders off on adventures to avoid feeling out of place. She rolls in some grey mud one day on an adventure and when she rejoins the herd of elephants, she tries to hide her pink skin. Finally one of the other elephants says they actually like her skin, even better than their own 'dour grey'. Now she is really happy and realizes all that whispering wasn't about her after-all.