This instructive folktale is from the Panchatantra, a collection of Indian animal fables. It tells the story of a crocodile that tries to outsmart a monkey in order to eat his heart. The monkey is fooled at first but turns out to be the smarter of the two. The story is simple enough for children to understand but also filled with complexities that make for good discussion.
As a digital title, this one has a nice array of settings, including a home button and help menu. It features easy to read text as well as simple, arrow-style page turning. I found the narration included to be a bit 'over-expressive' but that can be a matter of taste. In addition to the English narration, this app has an option to have the story narrated in Hindi (although the text is only in English). This could be great for both multi-lingual and foreign language learners.
There is a nice 'Parent-Child Activity' that follows the story which includes both discussion and reading comprehension questions. A small but nicely made extra is also at the end, where the reader can tap to find 6 'hidden' facts about the animals pictured in the illustrations. This includes facts about fish, monkeys, frogs and crocodiles. The pages of the story are also lightly interactive, featuring sound effects of animals, birds and insects when tapped.
Overall this is a short but well made digital fable with colorful cartoon-like illustrations. The moral of the story is highlighted at the end. This child-friendly version of the "Monkey and Crocodile" story also includes a 'sleep' setting that provides an audio-only presentation, designed to help "put the little ones to sleep". It is an enjoyable app with lots of flexible settings that allow parents to share this ancient tale in a more modern way.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 8
A crocodile wants to eat the heart of a monkey and asks her son to capture the monkey king for her. The son praises the monkey day after day to win his friendship. Then one day the crocodile offers to take the monkey on his back to the other side of the river where there are juicy mangoes. Once the monkey is on the crocodile's back, the crocodile laughs and tells him that he is actually going to be eaten.
The monkey thinks quickly and claims he has left his heart in the tree. When the foolish crocodile returns the monkey safely to his tree, the monkey refuses to come back down, saying "You are not my true friend."
The story ends with the following moral: "This story teaches us to choose friends wisely, and not to be fooled by flattery."
For more information about this and other tales from the Panchatantra, see: http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-folktales/panchatantra-tales/monkey-and-crocodile.html