When it comes to bedtime stories, I can't really say I grew up with them. On the other hand, I have seen many Hollywood movies that feature parents or grandparents reading bedtime stories to their juniors. It always seemed like a wonderful experience to me, and I promised myself that I will try my best to provide the same thing for my juniors.
Before I had an iPad, I tried to read paperback children books to my then 1-year-old son, Philip. He was too young then, so he didn't really understand the stories that I bought him. But now that he is older, I am resuming my storytelling sessions. With an iPad in our household now, it is also easier to collect high quality storybook apps for him.
A Monster Illness
Even Monsters Get Sick is a storybook app from Busy Bee Studios about a boy named Harry who trades his skateboard, a few stickers, and a couple of gums for a monster named Zub. He thinks that it was a good trade and doesn't believe it when Mona, Zub's previous owner, tells him that his new friend was a lazy and boring monster.
Throughout the story, Harry tries many things to get Zub excited, including going to the movies, making him an ice cream sandwich and playing with a space hob. But Zub never shows any interest. It isn't until Zub sneezes that Harry realizes that Zub was sick.
Harry then calls Uncle Bob to come over and check on Zub. When Uncle Bob tells him that Zub has a cold, Harry takes good care of his monster. He gives Zub medicine, reads him bedtime stories, and plays with him until he feels better. Once Zub returns to his happy monster mode, it is his turn to treat Harry well. He helps Harry build a rocket, teaches him new musical tricks, and many other cool things that involve pirates and tree houses.
Ever since then, Zub and Harry always enjoy their playtime together. Their experience also affect the other kids; now, whenever their pet monsters get sick, they will bring them to Uncle Bob.
Parents Need to Know
Even Monsters Get Sick introduces new concepts to juniors, such as barter, medical check-ups, pets, and bedtime stories. It has an extended happy ending; the story doesn't immediately end as soon as Zub is well but goes on to tell how Zub is able to make Harry's investments in taking good care of him worthwhile.
In terms of design, the app is nicely done. It has beautiful illustrations, several mini games, excellent background music and sound effects, and good interactivity. The professionally recorded voiceover also adds to the overall reading experience.
Things I Like
Personally, I am grateful that I found this storybook. Now that Philip understands the importance of taking good care of his pets, it's easier to ask him to care for his pet tortoise. I believe that this storybook can become a good reflection tool for him.
I also really like the way Even Monsters Get Sick illustrates the relationships among sickness, doctor and medicine. Through a playful in-game activity, juniors can learn to take their medicine when they need to. Now I always refer to this story whenever Philip is not willing to take his medicine.
Finally, I really appreciate that the app also features a reading activity before bed. Bedtime stories have not yet become a routine thing in our home, but I think that it should be. After reading Even Monsters Get Sick, Philip has confirmed that he wants me to read him bedtime stories from now on, and I'm really excited about it.
Interactivity is always a key success factor for apps that are aimed at juniors, and I believe Even Monsters Get Sick has it. It also has positive messages, like learning to care for your pets, illustrated in a junior-friendly way. For this reason, the app earns an A in my book.
Get Even Monsters Get Sick on the App Store.