Ug: A Prehistoric Adventure is a story about a cave boy who leaves his family only to realize that his true home is with his own people. Over nearly 50 pages, the story unfolds, featuring evocative hand-drawn pictures of Ug's adventure. The title has a few interactive elements and also pans across the illustrations in a nice semi-animated style. It is also accompanied by great music with lots of ambient forest & animal sounds.
This app has easy swipe-style page turning and a nice electronic bookplate that lets the reader handwrite their name on the first page of the story. The illustrations are also delightful, with fun spear points in place of page arrows (with 'swipe to continue' written underneath). There are also nice hints for the interactivity, which is helpful since there is nothing to tap on most pages. Page load is a bit slow, but other than that this is a solidly made digital book. There is even a small 'extra' included, a fun blank page for painting with a 'cave art' theme.
The only real difficulty I had with this story was, unfortunately, the story itself. Not only is it extremely long for a picture book, but the style of the story, including dialogue for the 'cavemen', is done in a stereotypical 'broken English' that is both offensive on some level and not good for young readers learning proper language construction. I found it difficult to explain this portrayal of cave people to my Kindergartener.
Pre-historic people didn't speak broken English of course, but this can imply that modern people who speak English as a foreign language are somehow 'primitive'. Now I may be especially sensitive to this, having studied Anthropology & Linguistics as an undergraduate, but it is something parents & educators will want to be aware of before considering this title. With other elements so nicely put together, this book would be very enjoyable if the story's 'broken English' was simply removed in favor of clearer storytelling. I only mention this criticism because Ug: A Prehistoric Adventure has the potential to be a very heartwarming tale in every other way.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Partrick Buss/Kate Buss
Ice Cream Publishing L.L.C.
18 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 10
"Poor Ug ... No one Love Ug. Not even Ug Love Ug," begins this prehistoric tale. Ug is a boy that thrown out of the house by his family because he does not want to go to school. He wanders far, far away and even begins to hunt on his own, inventing a spear. Then he gathers wild animals together (by threatening them with the spear) to start his own school where he is the teacher.
When Ug goes to sleep that night he lays on a soft fur, waking up to find himself on top of a moving Wooly Mammoth! He is carried farther away, becoming lost until he discovers another tribe of people, "but them no talk like him." After the other people throw spears at him, he runs away, feeling terribly sad & lonely.
He then wanders until he hears a noise ... it is his family coming to look for him! The cave boy is very happy to be found, realizing that it is foolish to run away from the people who love him most.