The Harvest Festival is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Nun Nine who is gathering items from each of the people in town, like 3 cartons of eggs from Freda Three the Farmer and 5 jars of honey from Mr. Hive Five.
As a digital book, this title is well made with easy swipe page turning or the alternative of auto-play. The text highlights as it is narrated in a crisp Australian accent. There are several small interactive sound effects to go along with the otherwise still images, like the sound of bees buzzing whenever the honey is tapped. The illustrations are comical and colorful in a way children will find engaging. My child enjoyed this story a lot, especially the hidden number '9' in so many of the pictures.
There are two small 'extras'. One is a map of Numbertown with all of the charming townsfolk numbered from 1-10. If you tap on any one of the people it takes you to their homes or workplaces on the map. You can also tap on the '123' on the home page to go to a page with the numbers 1-10. Tap on any one of the numbers to see a larger picture of the character associated with that number while hearing the number spoken aloud. If you tap on the person, a short audio of the character plays describing his/her role in the town.
Overall, this book is a fun one for kids, although the story is slightly less engaging compared to some of the others in the series. My preschooler loves all of the Number Town books, though, so I recommend them often. As digital apps, this series has just the right amount of enhancement to engage young readers without over-shadowing the storytelling. They are also a great way to introduce numbers in a way that is fun, especially the 'hidden' numbers that are tucked into the illustrations on every page.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Jane Hague/Ferdinand Tang
123 Number Fun Pty Ltd
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Nun Nine is preparing for the annual harvest festival with the help of all the townsfolk. She collects apples from Nurse Trixie Six and energy bars from Sally Seven the Sports Star. Then she visits Freda Three on her farm, picking up eggs for the festival. When she visits Mr. Hive Five, the bee keeper, she receives jars of honey, but also stays with her good friend. They sit to have a glass of lemonade and discuss how kind and generous everyone in town has been.
Next Nun Nine visits Fergus Four the Fisherman and receives some tasty crabs to add to her 'harvest festival' haul. It is very hot so he also drives her to the church in his refrigerated truck. When the festival begins everyone is there, including Professor One (having a burger), and Tilly Two, sitting in the police car of Policeman Ernie Eight.
Then, all of a sudden there is a bit of problem as Mr. Hive Five is riding a horse that is startled by Sally Seven's baton tossing. In the end it all goes well, though. Nun Nine and Mr. Hive Five even win awards for their entries in the food contest (her cake & his honey) and Freda wins the sheepdog competition with her dog Jess. All the leftover food is loaded up in Fergus's van to be given to the needy. Nun Nine is pleased with her work.
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