This is a poem-like story with light interactivity and unique personalization settings. It is told in the first person by a little girl who is exploring a forest. Images depict each of the seasons while the little girl compares her own body to the trees around her, seeing the connectedness of nature.
This book was published first in print in 2010 and features rhyming text by Michelle Macdonald. The trees are depicted with expressive faces that will appeal to kids in the richly colored illustrations by Leah Davis. Users can edit the text of the book to change it or rewrite the story in its entirety, as well as record their own narration. Each page can also be tapped to see most images name themselves as the narrator says the word aloud.
This book is solidly made and features a nice array of settings. Among features users might not notice is a page guide (swipe up from the bottom to reveal it) and home setting (swipe down from the top to return to the beginning of the book from any page). Personalization settings are on the title page and allow the user to save their custom changes to the text & narration. Text is in an easy-to-read font that highlights as narrated in the default mode.
Overall this is a lovely storybook that has been nicely enhanced as a digital app. It has lots of flexible ways it can be read, shared or altered. It is a peaceful and enjoyable bedtime read for both children and adults. This title also lends itself nicely to teaching about the seasons, nature and poetry.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Michelle Macdonald/Leah Davis
5 - 7 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
In, The Trees Grin Beside Me, a child's curious, questioning mind leads her on an inspiring journey in nature. By comparing herself to the majestic trees around her, the young girl begins to learn more about herself and discover the unexpected teachings that trees have to offer. [From Print Edition Description - Amazon.com]