A wonderful tale is woven in this digital book from the SEED institute, part of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation's attempt to produce quality digital children's literature for a global audience. In this storybook, Little Otter is eager to learn to fish. He seeks the help of Big Otter and soon has learned all the important skills he needs, like how to hold his breath and dive. Soon Little Otter has a handful of fish to eat and is very proud of himself. When Baby Otter joins them, saying, "Wow, can you show me how to fish?" Little Otter is happy to be the teacher now, passing on his new wisdom.
A series of six nice discussion questions follow the story, which is lightly animated and beautifully illustrated. Text highlights as narrated with a clear British narrator and easy-to-read text. Page turn is by simple arrows, although several pages also need to be swiped to a second scene before tapping the arrow. The animation is slight but polished, and while not really interactive, animated scenes do replay if tapped.
There is also one small extra, a series of three puzzles based on images in the story, with three difficulty levels (6, 12 or 20 pieces). This is a small but solidly made feature. Readers can also personalize the text of this storybook, re-writing the narrative to go along with each page. This makes for a very flexible app with lots of potential. It can be used to elicit 'expressive language' from young children, building on a fundamental skill for early literacy.
Overall, this is an adorable book app with a sweet story about how everyone learns from each other. Concepts like 'self-help' and 'mutual-help' are defined and emphasized in the story and discussion section, making for a fun and educational read for children six and under. Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Emily Lim, Scrawl Studios
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6
Big Otter is going on a fishing trip and little otter wants to join him to learn how to catch his own food. When they get to the water's edge, Little Otter jumps in, but he comes up with a mouth full of water. "How do I fish like you?" asks Little Otter. Big Otter tries to help by teaching Little Otter the golden rule of swimming - safety first. Then he teaches Little Otter how to hold his breath, dive deep, strengthen his arms and sniff out tasty critters hiding in the sea.
Once the lessons are over, Little Otter dives in and is very proud to have an armful of food when he comes to the surface. Now Baby Otter is impressed and wants Little Otter to teach him next ... "Let me show you how!" says Little Otter, eager to pass the torch to the younger generation.