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developed by Do2Learn illustrated by Lucy Kagan

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: July 20th, 2012
Publisher: Do2Learn

A conversation-starting app aims to ignite discussion via the experiences of three students who each describe a bullying incident from his or her own point of view.

To engage the app, users are prompted to select one of three characters, Ally, Pearl or Jeremy. Each character narrates an account of a bullying incident in which Pearl, who is autistic, is upset by Ally’s cruelty, and Jeremy comforts her. Watercolor illustrations of variable quality and limited interactivity accompany each narrative, also providing alternate angles and perspectives on the event. To varying levels, with Jeremy’s bordering on didacticism, each character weaves information about autism into their narratives. Gently prodding users to delve deeper, each story is followed by questions and answers that discuss the characters and attempt to explain some of their actions. Lastly, users are prompted to reflect on their own reactions to the characters and the presence of similar people in their lives. Seemingly tacked on and delivering little value are three minor interactive features attached to each character’s narrative, which include low-tech coloring pages, a jigsaw-puzzle activity and a challenge to find hidden objects within selected narrative scenes.

A basic app that provides more of a traditional book experience than might be expected from the format but that has potential to provoke conversations about autism and bullying. (iPad storybook app. 5-9)