"In a zoo in a town, like one that you know ..." begins this storybook about our closest primate relatives. We are introduced to the zoo where a 50th birthday party is happening for 'old Poe'. His grand-daughter, Lulu, asks questions about his life that he tells to the reader in brief passages that go back in time. Poe was forced to be in the circus and in movies, showing a dark side to the love affair humans have with their nearest primate kin.
As an educational title, this book is well made and has a nicely crafted story. Enhancements are not quite animation, but do provide movement and great sound effects as the illustrations are panned-over to show each of Poe's reflections on his past. The story has a message, that chimps need to be allowed to do 'chimp' things, like swing and play and be with other chimps (in contrast to being in tiny cages and made to perform).
This title is not narrated, however, which would be a nice addition for any future update. In addition to hidden sound effects, readers can also find 10 "Chimp Fact" cards within the story. Overall this is a great title, produced as a free app in collaboration with Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and Project ChimpCARE. It has many educational uses and is nicely enhanced in a very polished app. Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Manning Productions/Natalie Sklobovskaya
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 10
In a zoo "like one that you know" there is a chimp turning 50, named old Poe. The zookeeper, Todd, helps tell Poe's story. He also introduces Lulu, the youngest chimp in the enclosure, and also Poe's grand-daughter.
Lulu asks Poe about his life. He had a hard time, being put in the circus where he missed his mother & had to be in a cage. But at the zoo, Lulu points out, they can now play outside. Chimps need to run free, Poe explains. Poe also recounts his time being put in movies, where they would mistake his bared teeth for a smile, shooting reel after reel.
Eventually Poe was rescued by Todd the zookeep. Now he can eat termites and fruit and be with his family of other chimps. Lulu then asks, what about other chimps, do they need help, too? Poe explains that chimps are endangered and need protection. If only more people could understand the plight of the chimps, things would improve. And zoo's are one way of educating people ...
Also contains 10 Chimp Fact cards hidden throughout the story, explaining the behavior and other interesting facts about chimpanzees.