Our Overall rating: 5
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Up & Down

April 21, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

An exceptional cross-cultural app ...

This beautifully illustrated app by Mr. Garamond shows a split screen with images from 'a day in the life' of two children, one in a western setting and the other in an eastern, desert environment. Profits from downloading this application go to Bubisher, a travelling Bus of Books for the children living in Western Saharan refugee camps. The app is available in Spanish, English, French & Arabic, but unlike most multilingual apps, this one lets you select the language for the narration and text separately, meaning you can listen in English with text in Arabic, for instance. This feature makes for a very unique and educational storybook.

The book can be read with or without a game that has the child look for an item that is present in both scenes. This is both fun for kids and good for encouraging attention to detail, but also reinforces the underlying message of the story. Since the items found in both scenes are things like books, a ball, a toothbrush and a bowl of rice, they also represent ways in which the two boys are more alike than different, despite living in very different parts of the world. This is an excellent title to read with children to explore cross-cultural themes and foreign language learning.

This short but sweet story app is solidly made with excellent settings that let you turn the background music on/off as well as a page guide. Original artwork by Mónica Calvo is delightful with lots of fun details in every scene. These images are very lightly animated and include a few interactive sound effect touch points on each page. The narration is clear & crisp in English, although it does not highlight as read. There are also two more games unlocked after correctly finding all the items in both scenes in 'Read & Play' mode. These include coloring pages and a game that uses the device's motion detection to put pictures back together.

Overall, this is an exceptional new app and a must-download title for anyone with children ages 3-8. It's also perfect for classroom use. The messages in the story are wonderful, showing two boys who appear to be pen pals from different parts of the world. The final page shows them dreaming of a time when they can meet in person, "At the end of the day, I love to dream about my friends far away."

My highest recommendation!

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.


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Up & Down

April 21, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

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Mr. Garamond/Mónica Calvo

Mr. Garamond S.L.

Length (time):
4 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8

English • French • Spanish •

Length (pages):
12 Pages


Story Synopsis - Up & Down

The sun is up and a new day begins for two children living in very different places … see them go through their day, going to school, eating, playing with friends and being with family. Children can compare the two children's lives side-by-side and see how they are different, but essentially the same.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read and Play, Just Read, Home, Language, Games, Information, Share w/ Links to: Email, Twitter, Facebook

App Release Date:


Size: 246.69 MB

Version: 1.2

Lite Version Available: No



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