Amico Ragnolo, from Small Bytes Digital, was shortlisted in 2014 for the Bologna Digital Ragazzi Award. It is an original story, based on an Italian children's book of the same name. In English, the title is "My Friend the Spider" and it is about a duck that befriends a rather talented spider (along the line of Charlotte's Web). Ragnolo can make his web into many things, including the Eiffel Tower or even a sword for play-fighting with his new ornithological friend.
The app is well made although it lacks any settings to disable the background music from the narration. It also contains two cute games, Dot-to-Dot and Web Checkers (actually a memory Simon-style game). The games are embedded in the storybook, however, which can be distracting to many young readers and interrupts the flow of it's short story.
Overall, as a digital app, this storybook is well paced and uses visual storytelling with animation to show the passing of seasons (pg. 2) along with a well-crafted narrative arc. The narration is a bit stilted but articulate in English. The app contains both Italian and English versions, although it opens with Italian even if your device is set for English language apps. Simply tap "Italiano" to switch languages.
Short and very sweet, My Friend the Spider is a precious children's tale that could easily become a classic. It is about friendship and appreciation of differences, overlaid on the natural world in a way that teaches many good life lessons to human children. It's also an easy storybook to enjoy with both young and old readers alike.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Small Bytes Digital
6 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 3 - 8
English • Italian •
Amico Ragnolo is a fun and beautifully illustrated story, which follows the beginning of an adventure between two unusual friends: Ragnolo, a small black spider and a duck. It all starts when the duck find Ragnolo on a lettuce leaf and wants to eat him, but that spider smiles and so ...
Amico Ragnolo is a tender story that demonstrates how diversity is overcome by curiosity and mutual understanding. Going beyond appearances can spark unforgettable adventures and help to forge special friendships. Read aloud to your children, and play together on every page with fully interactive elements. Or follow the narrator who tells the story. Enjoy the beautiful illustrations, animations, and discover the hidden secrets to play in the story. [Source: iTunes]