THE FACTS OF LIFE by Jillian Roberts


For Children and Adolescents
Age Range: 3 - 6
Available on the App Store
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“Just enough” information about the titular facts is the stated goal for this well-intentioned offering from a Canadian psychologist.

Designed for children and parents to use together, it provides an opportunity for conversation and will certainly prompt questions. More like a book than an app, this makes little use of the interactive and navigational possibilities of the medium. Each of the 50 pages has a sentence or two of information and an animation-style illustration. Viewers’ choices are limited to going back or ahead one page or stopping the story—presumably after having reached their personal “just enough” points. There is background music but no narration. In marked contrast to similar offerings by such authors as Robie H. Harris, the text is distressingly coy. Children will learn that babies grow from a little seed, planted when the “puzzle pieces” of a woman’s body and a man’s body fit together in “just the right way.” The baby grows in a womb, which, children are correctly told, lies below a woman’s stomach, although the arrow in the illustration points at the hip. The baby grows when its mother is fed; this illustration shows a woman drinking what appears to be a soft drink; later, she and baby eat an ice cream cone. The word “vagina” is used but not the word “penis.” An optional quiz at the end varies according to how many pages have been viewed.

Here, “just enough” is not enough in either form or content. (iPad informational app. 3-6)


Pub Date: July 30th, 2013
Publisher: Jillian Roberts
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2013


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