Disney brings their film adaptation of Brave to life in this digital book, pairing animated clips from the feature film alongside a nicely abridged version of the movie's plot. This app is a real treat that includes much more than a book, providing lots of entertainment for young readers in the form of games, puzzles and coloring pages based on the hit movie, released this summer (2012). The story itself is inspirational, too, starring a princess named Merida that has a mind of her own when it comes to who she should marry.
My child, like most, loves Disney films, so he was delighted to see a few animated scenes from the movie interspersed throughout the book. This is one of the ways this storybook stands out from many of the other movie-themed book apps available. This title also has a nice choice of settings, letting you set the book up for auto-play (Follow Along) or a more interactive "Read & Explore" mode. You can also record your own narration, although the professional voice over is top notch.
In the interactive mode, pages within the book include icons for the painting pages, puzzles or mini-game features, taking the child into another activity bundled within the story. The story itself, however, is not interactive, making this a good title for storytime with multiple children. This book's length makes it less ideal for bedtime but great for encouraging older, struggling readers to stay engaged.
There are two mini games ... in "Merida's Challenge" you try to hit as many targets as possible as Merida rides her horse into the forest. In "Archer's Quest" the reader needs to find arrows hidden within the story, so this is a game that can only be played by reading the story. There are also six puzzles with three difficulty levels, plus six 'painting' pages based on scenes in the storybook.
As a digital title, this book is solidly made with lots of simple settings like a page-guide, home button and ways to 'keep in touch' with Disney. Overall this is a transmedia title sure to please any young reader and a great way to relive the movie. This would even be a great way to share the 'Brave' story with kids who've never seen the film. Recommended.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Disney Digital Books
Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications
25 - 30 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
Plot synopsis, courtesy Wikipedia:
Merida is an archer living in the Scottish kingdom of DunBroch as a princess with her mother Elinor and her father Fergus. On Merida's birthday, Fergus gives Merida a bow and arrow. While going hunting, Merida's family are attacked by an ancient bear, Mor'du. Elinor and Merida flee. Fergus stays to battle the bear and loses his left leg, vowing to find Mor'du again.
One day, Lords Macintosh, MacGuffin, and Dingwall present their sons to compete for Merida's hand, and a brawl ensues. Merida chooses an archery challenge to determine her suitor. Lord Dingwall's son wins by accident. Merida decides to shoot the three targets herself, causing a falling-out with her mother. Merida destroys part of a sewn tapestry depicting the family and Elinor throws Merida's bow into a fire pit. Merida rides away on her horse in desperation as Elinor quickly retrieves the bow from the fire. Merida follows a trail of Will O' the Wisps, small blue fairies that are said to lead a person to their fate, to a witch's hut. Merida bargains with the witch for a spell that changes her fate. The witch conjures a tart for Merida to give to her mother. Back in DunBroch, Elinor eats the tart and begins to feel sick. Merida takes Elinor up to her room, where Elinor falls off her bed and transforms into a bear. Merida and Elinor return to the witch's cottage, where they find a message left for Merida: the spell will be permanent unless undone by the second sunrise. The witch leaves Merida a riddle, mentioning that a bond must be repaired.
In the morning, Merida teaches Elinor how to catch fish, and the two bond over that period of time. They are led by more wisps to the ruins of an old castle. In the throne room, Merida finds a damaged stone engraving with three brothers; a fourth brother had been cut off, just like how Merida had cut her mother off of the tapestry. Merida realizes that the curse had happened before, the wayward brother was Mor'du, and Elinor will lose all traces of her humanity and become just like Mor'du if they don't break the spell. They travel back to DunBroch to sew the family tapestry back together. To distract Merida's father and the lords, who are thinking of waging war on each other, Merida gives a speech that brings the kingdoms back together and states that the sons can choose their own brides. However, Fergus finds Elinor's ripped clothes and broken bed, and believes Elinor has been murdered. He bursts into the tapestry room where he finds Merida and Elinor as a bear. Elinor attacks Fergus, and upon regaining consciousness, she finds that she's harmed Merida and Fergus and retreats.
Merida tries to convince Fergus that the bear is Elinor, but Fergus locks her in the tapestry room and sets off with the lords to capture Elinor. Merida is freed with the help of her brothers, who are now turned into bears, and the four follow wisps to where Fergus has captured Elinor and tied her up. Merida defends Elinor by fighting off Fergus. Mor'du appears and lunges for Merida, but Elinor breaks free of the ropes and duels him. Elinor kills Mor'du by smashing him into a rock. Merida sees a wisp emerge from Mor'du's body, and it shows the human body of the brother who had become the bear. He then flies away to join the other wisps. Merida puts the repaired tapestry on top of her wounded mother. When the sun fully rises, Elinor and her sons are back in human form. The kingdoms become friends and go their separate ways. Merida and Elinor ride their horses around Scotland, their friendship stronger.
This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.
Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us …