It's Great Being Little for iPad/iPhone is a new offering from the Dutch team "Sieneke & Tineke". The 'story' is more of a list of reasons it's great to be little. Every page has an image of kids doing fun things - like jumping in puddles, dressing up and building a tent. The book is just the right length for toddlers, although my 4 year old also enjoyed it a lot. He is at the age where it often seems more like 'it's great to be big', so I think he appreciated the message.
The book is also humorous in a child-like way that fits the topic perfectly and is enhanced by funny sound effects. My son really liked the sound the boy makes when he is eating, although I thought it was a little gross. Every page has a few unique sounds to be triggered, but nothing that would encourage senseless tapping. The kids in most scenes have great 'laughing' sounds as well as a wide variety of other expressive sound effects that communicate emotion.
The illustrations are hand-drawn and based on the toddler books this team created in print over the last decade. Three of the drawings are available in the extras section as coloring pages. It's a small number, but set up in a nice way that allows the child to touch a color and then tap in an area to 'fill' in the color.
There is a 'home' button and settings to turn off the narration, available in English, Spanish or Dutch. The home button holds your place in the book, giving only the option to 'continue' but no way to 'restart' or navigate to another page. In a title this short, this is not a serious complaint. There is also a scene at the beach where the kids are in bathing suits, just like their parents, but the text oddly says, "We don't need clothes to play on the beach." The little girl has only bottoms on her bathing suit, so perhaps that is what the text is referring to? It was just a little bit confusing.
The only serious problem I found was that the narration did not precisely match the written text on several pages, giving an account that was more 'para-phrased'; this should really be fixed since it's confusing for children, especially those learning to read. The narration inconsistency was only present for the North American version of the English translation, although in the 'Irish' version, part of the title page's text is strangely cut off. An update for these technical problems would be very helpful.
Otherwise, this is an enjoyable and sweet title for the very littlest kids. It reminds them, and the 'big' people reading along, that being 'little' is something to celebrate. I certainly like the idea of encouraging my little one to stay small just a tiny bit longer!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Sieneke de Rooij/ Tineke Meirink
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6
English • Spanish •Dutch •
In this book for toddlers and young children, the kids in the book explain all the reasons 'it's great being little'. From the cover page on, they point out that they can do many things that mom & dad are too 'big' to do - things like get dirty, walk around naked, eat with their hands and so forth. The pages tell about little kids getting to: jump in puddles, wear pajamas all day, eat free salami samples from the butcher, ride on Grampa like he's a horse, dress up like a princess (the boy is shown with crown & lipstick), jump on the couch, play in the mud, hide up in a tree, go without clothes on the beach (although pictured in bathing suits), build a tent in the sandbox, and eat with their hands. The book ends with "We will NEVER be big! It's great to be little!