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Elfishki and the Giant Cake (English + Russian)

April 15, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Baking a cake brings the community together ...

In this beautifully animated tale, readers are introduced to a new world - Rainbow Island (in the middle of the Sparkling Sea). This magical world is inhabited by little people, called Elfishki. "Some of them could fly like butterflies and some could swim like mermaids. They shared the island with animals who could speak and trees who did not talk, but understood everything." This place, where miracles happen 'every day', is home to Elfizz & Maggie, two Elfishki shop owners who do not get along.

On the important occasion of Mr. Thomas' birthday, Maggie needs to bake a large cake but has trouble with her oven. Elfizz is the only other person with an oven large enough, so she reluctantly seeks his help with unexpected results. The collaboration of the two Elfishki makes for a cake that will not be soon forgotten!

Each page of this short title has lightly interactive elements, primarily the triggering of animation that is usually story-related. This may be too much for bedtime reading, but is well-done and complements the lovely story and illustrations. Text does not highlight as narrated but is well crafted in the English translation (Russian is also available in-app). A series of three "?" buttons is at the bottom of every page, containing great questions to expand on the story, test for comprehension and challenge readers to think more deeply about the story, including the motivations behind the actions of each of the characters and other possible directions the story could have gone.

Overall this is a solidly made title with gorgeous animated scenes. The illustrations are very detailed and pair nicely with the polished text. There is also a small but fun extra where readers can create their own cake with lots of decoration options before saving it to the device's photos. Young readers will love the fantasy in this storybook series ... introducing a whole new world for kids to explore. Recommended!

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.

 







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Elfishki and the Giant Cake (English + Russian)

April 15, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Author/Illustrator:
Elvira Baryakina/Dmitriy Gavrilov & Andrey Kolodkin

Developer:
Pavel Mamaev

Length (time):
6 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:
No

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8

Languages:
English • Spanish •German •

Length (pages):
14 Pages

 

Story Synopsis - Elfishki and the Giant Cake (English + Russian)

Synopsis from http://www.elfishki.com:

Once upon a time, on the beautiful Rainbow Island in the middle of the Sparkling Sea lived magical little people called Elfishki. Some of them could fly like butterflies, and some could swim like mermaids. They shared the island with animals who could speak, and trees who did not talk but understood everything. All in all, this was a place where miracles happened every day. 

Elfizz was one very clever Elfishki. Also, he was quite a talented magician: He could make broccoli taste like pizza, and spinach yummier than ice cream. In the main square of the city, he had a restaurant called Chest of Ghosts. It resembled an old antique chest, and the waiting staff were eager-to-please ghosts. 

On the opposite side of the square was the bakery, Gingerbread Nook, run by a pretty, plump Elfishki lady called Maggie. Her apprentice, Gargoyle, helped her to bake the dough.

Long ago, Gargoyle was a statue crowning the city tower, but one night, young stargazers accidentally sprayed her with magic potion. Gargoyle became alive, but remained stony and heavy. When she walked, the earth would rumble and glass would shake in window frames. 

Maggie took Gargoyle off the street, gave her shelter, and taught her how to bake cakes. No one in the whole world could roll sweet pastry dough as finely as Gargoyle could. She only needed to put her heavy paw on a piece of dough and it would become as thin as paper. 

Maggie didn’t like Elfizz and was scared of his spooky waiters. Once a ghost was hurrying, late for work, and flew straight through her. Poor Maggie couldn’t stop hiccupping for a month afterwards—that's how much wind she caught from that one encounter!

On the other hand, Elfizz thought the rich vanilla aromas of Maggie’s baking interfered with the atmosphere at the Chest of Ghosts. In the evening, Maggie’s choir of singing and harp-playing cherubs would disturb his guests’ pirate songs. 

One day, Maggie received a very important order—to make a Giant Cake for the birthday party of the scholarly cat, Mr. Thomas. All Elfishki people would be invited to wish him a very happy birthday. 

On the big day, Maggie set to work. But Gargoyle was so overwhelmed, she started to scurry and, with all her weight, ran into the oven, turning it into a pile of bricks. It was a disaster. 

Maggie didn’t want to ask Elfizz for help, but he was the only one with an oven big enough.

“Okay, I’ll help you,” he said when she came to his Chest of Ghosts. “But, only on one condition. I will have to bake the layers myself. My oven is special, and only I know how to use it.”

When Elfizz took the first batch of cakes out of the oven, they were almost black.

“They’re all burnt!” exclaimed Maggie.

“Try first,” sneered Elfizz.

She bit off a piece, and it tasted like the most wonderful chocolate sponge cake. Maggie covered it with cream and began to build a little Gingerbread Nook on top.

“Pink! I hate pink!” objected Elfizz as he started to mold something out of chocolate. But Maggie was so engrossed in her work that she didn’t notice what Elfizz was up to.

Mr. Thomas’s birthday party was arranged on the main town square. The guests gasped when the ghost waiters brought the cake out.

“It’s our town on the cake!” Mr. Thomas exclaimed. “Here is the Chest of Ghosts and the Gingerbread Nook, and all of us.” 

“Elfizz and I made it,” Maggie confessed.

The cake was a big success. All the guests congratulated Mr. Thomas and also Maggie and Elfizz. The two had finally become friends and learned to help each other. And most important of all, they realized good things can be done in different ways.

 

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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad

Options:

Read to Me, Read Myself, Game (Decorate Cake), Language (English/Russian), Sound On/Off, Home, Links to: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Email, AppStore

App Release Date:
2011-12-21

 






Size: 299.29 MB

Version: 1.2

Lite Version Available: No

 

 

Elfishki and the Giant Cake (English + Russian)

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