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A Fable from the Northwoods

by Sara Button & illustrated by P.A. Lewis & developed by Flying Word, Inc.

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2011
Publisher: Flying Word

This two-for-one app includes an evocative Northwoods animal fable plus a companion song.

When three animal friends each wish to take on some aspect of the others, their wish is granted—“just the thought alone made their wish come true.” Black Bear finds himself in a coat of Walleye’s shiny scales, Walleye sprouts Loon’s wings and Loon sports Black Bear’s luxurious coat. As you might expect, things don’t turn out as they had hoped. Bear looks very flashy in his coat of scales, but it doesn’t keep him warm; Loon’s black fur coat feels makes her feel queenly, but it weighs her down; and Walleye loves flying, but he keeps bumping into things.  When the animals wish themselves back to their original states at the end of the day, they agree “to always appreciate each other’s gifts, but most of all to value their own.” The illustrations are quite lovely, and the panels can be manipulated for an interesting 3-D effect. The full-cast narration and the background sound effects are solid. The experience ends with the melodious “Waltz of the Northwoods,” which retells the story in song form. Navigation could be improved: There is no easy way to get to a specific page, and there is no pause option in the read-aloud mode to allow viewers time to play with the graphics. 

Attractive illustrations and the accompanying song help this app to rise above the ordinary. (iPad storybook and song app. 4-8)