Our regular readers know that we are NOT fans of back to school ads. Summer is a time of fun and playing with friends, what kid wants that ruined by an ad in August that reminds them that school is right around the corner? Well, now that we are in September, not even we can deny that school is here and for many kids that means a feeling of fear and anxiety.
Luckily, there are some great books that parents can read to their kids to help them with fitting in at school. Today we review a new digital children’s book called Brave Rooney. Brave Rooney is written by Gerry Renert, a three-time EMMY nominated kid’s TV writer. Actually “written” might be the wrong word, since Brave Rooney is a digital book for iPads and iPhones and is filled with over 50 mini-animations (movement that happens when kids click an image on the page), maybe created is the right word.
Ever Feel Like Everyone Else In Your School is a Super Star In Something?
We are most definitely NOT experts in child psychology, but we do know that often kids feel that everyone else at school is a super star at something. This can make it hard to fit in if your child sees themselves as just a “normal” student.
Brave Rooney has a very clever and fun way of showing kids that they are all super stars in their own way. The book is about Captain Majestic Memorial School, an elementary school for superheroes…and Rooney. Yes, this year, regular, non-superhero Rooney (from Normalville) is going to Captain Majestic elementary school. Rooney can’t juggle 1 ton weights or fly a school bus around, like the other superheroes, so he has a very hard time fitting in. We are not going to spoil the book for you, but let’s just say that by the end Rooney figures out he is Super Brave and then fits in just fine.
Brave Rooney, A Fun and Well Written Story
Yes, Brave Rooney is an interactive digital book, but before we discuss that, we need to look at the most important thing – is it a good story? The answer to this is yes! Gerry Renert does an excellent job of creating a fun story that makes kids laugh, while teaching a valuable lesson. We are not book critics, but we had a few kids read the book and they all enjoyed it and wanted to read it again.
What Do The Interactive Digital Elements Add to Brave Rooney?
We were pleasantly surprised with the interactive digital elements in Brave Rooney. Often books are ported over to iPads and iPhones just so they can say “Now with digital interactive features“. Unfortunately, the majority of the interactive features add nothing to the story.
In Brave Rooney, the mini-animations are fun and do add to the story. A book about superheroes is perfect for mini-animations. You can click on a super hero and watch her fly or juggle 1 ton weights. Sometimes you click on a character and he says something or a thought bubble appears above his head. What is great is that the digital elements add to or enhance the story. At one point when Rooney is talking about worms, you can click the chalk board and a few different fun facts on worms are revealed with each click. In addition to the interactive elements you can also have the book read to you (by the author) or choose to read it yourself.
Here is quick preview that will give you a good feel for Brave Rooney -
Conclusion: Brave Rooney, A Digital Book That is Fun To Read
Many parents do not like the idea of their kids spending more time with electronics. While the goal of minimizing gadget time is a positive one, Brave Rooney proves that iPhones and iPads can be used in a very positive way for teaching children about fitting in at school. Brave Rooney is a fun and well done digital books that kids ages 4-8 will love to read and interact with as well. If you have children hesitant about starting school, Brave Rooney is an excellent digital book that will make your kids laugh, while learning that we are all special in different ways.
Brave Rooney is Available on iTunes for $2.99
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