This is another tale from the traditional "Panchatantra" told with a modern twist. The story starts with two kids in Chicago spending summer vacaction with their grandparents who are visiting from India. They head to the park to play and have a picnic. After eating, Grandpa offers to tell a story while they are feeding a flock of birds near a park bench.
The tale of The Doves and the Hunter comes from a collection of Indian fables retold the world over, with stories about animals that teach many lessons. In this tale, a hunter uses a large net to trap a flock of doves. The the king of the doves stays calm and suggests the flock all fly up in unison. The flock gets away and then lands where a group of friendly mice can help them by chewing on the net until the whole flock is free and safe from the hunter.
The illustrations are bright and colorful, featuring modern scenes from a suburban Chicago neighborhood, mixed with more traditional pictures of the story "The Doves & the Hunter". The book also has nice music and narration, although it does not highlight as read and uses a stylistic font that may be difficult for some younger readers. This title also has small additional interactivity, sound effects and animation present on some (but not all) pages.
A nice page guide indicates which activities are on each page, although it would be helpful if it also linked back to the individual pages for easy exploration. The animations are decent but mostly just small movements of the images. Since not every page is interactive, it might be a good idea to have some sort of indicator on the page itself about where and when to tap. My child gave up trying to find things after a few pages with nothing to explore.
Two of the pages also have a 'puzzle' icon that appears in the left hand corner and triggers a small puzzle feature. These are fun, especially since you need to rotate the pieces to get them to fit. The story also has a nice section at the end where the grandparents help explain the moral of the story. The tale teaches the value of working together, staying calm in the face of danger and knowing who your friends are in a crisis. This book gives the child reading more context about folklore and may also inspire them to connect with their elders' stories. Green Broccoli features top notch storytelling, nicely packaged in digital form.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Green Broccoli, LLC
6 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
In this tale a flock of birds is led by 'King Dove' who is wise and respected. A hunter lays a trap for the birds with a large net. When the birds try to eat the grain spread on the ground beneath the net, they become trapped. The King stays calm and gets the rest of the flock to calmly fly in unison up into the sky with the net attached to their feet. They get away from the hunter but now must figure out where to land.
The King knows a friendly mouse who might be able to help, so they land. The mouse brings a whole group of friends who help the doves by chewing on the net. After the mice have freed all the doves, they celebrate their friendship. The children listentening to their grandfather tell this tale from the Panchatantra then discuss the moral of the story after it is over.
The Panchatantra ('Five Principles') is a collection of original Indian animal fables in verse and prose. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma. However, it is based on older oral traditions and is one of the most widely known in the world. [Source: Wikipedia]