This digital book is very simple in it's construction but complex in its purpose. The collection of stories it comes from, known as the "Martina Collection" is designed "to educate children about their feelings in a natural way, without changing words and hiding things." The topic of this storybook is the death of a grandparent, a very solemn and specific topic. While it is obviously not appropriate for all-occassion reading, it is a very good book to have on hand for the specific challenge of explaining the death of a loved one to young children.
The book is not narrated and has no settings, sound or other elements that take advantage of the platform, although given its somber subject, this seems like the kind of book you'd want to read yourself to a child. The story itself is very well-written to the developmental needs of a young child and explains death in simple, matter-of-fact terms that demystify death while also giving hope.
When Martina's grandfather becomes ill and then dies she is angry and very sad. But her mom tells her that the little girl gave her grandfather many happy times and that "he'll never die because we always talk about him and remember him with a smile." She continues to reassure Martina, saying he hasn't really gone, "because a little piece of him has stayed with each of us and he's now with nature ..." The book also acknowledges that everyone dies eventually but reassures little ones that this usually happens when we are very old.
Overall this is a useful little ebook in a simple package. It will not impress you except with the care with which it takes both its subject and its readers, something any good book about death should do. It is also not religious in anyway, focusing instead on a more spiritual idea that people who die stay with us because they are in our hearts. In English, Spanish & Catalan.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Maria Leon Bolivar/Abigail Marquez
Carles Coll Madrenas
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
English • Spanish •
Martina is a three year old girl who loves her grandparents. One day her Grandpa Bert gets sick and eventually dies. When her parents tell her that Grandpa is gone she cries and feels very angry. Her mom comforts her, explaining that Grandpa was very old and that he had been ill since she was a baby. Martina was the light of his life, her mom continues, always making him smile. She goes on to comfort the little girl, saying that she shouldn't be sad since she gave Grandpa "lots of happy moments" and that they will always talk about him so in a sense he will never die. When they go to visit Nan, Martina's Grandmother, it occurs to the little girl that Nan is also old so she asks if Nan will also die. "Who will I stay with if everyone goes?" Martina asks worriedly. Her parents reassure her that this will not happen until Martina is very old and a Grandma herself.