A couple of months ago, I reviewed a beautiful storybook app called The Story of Kalkalih. It's the first story in Bramble Berry Tales, a series of three storybooks designed by Rival Schools to help keep the thousand-year-old languages and cultural traditions of the First Nations people alive.
A few days ago, the second storybook, The Great Sasquatch, was released. Even though this book uses the same characters as the first one, it features a standalone storyline, which doesn't require you to read the first book.
The Great Sasquatch
Similar to the first book, The Great Sasquatch revolves around Thomas and his younger sister Lily who are visiting their grandparents during the holidays. Thomas daydreams of going for a walk with his Mooshum (grandfather), but Lily asks him to go with her instead.
Feeling annoyed, Thomas thinks of leaving Lily behind. They get separated when Lily stops to collect beads for her necklace. When Thomas realizes that Lily is no longer following him, he starts to panic and searches for his sister. He worries because he sees plenty of fallen tree branches on the ground. He believes that something big has caused those branches to fall off.
Lily continues to wander around until she comes near a beach and notices a giant footprint in the sand. When Thomas finds her, she shows him the giant footstep.
Disinterested in Lily's discovery, Thomas continues to wander, trying to find what has caused the tree branches to fall in such a strange fashion. Then, he stumbles into a giant furry animal -- it's the great Sasquatch. Thomas tries to scare the creature away, but it shrieks back at him.
When a bigger Sasquatch suddenly comes behind him, Lily notices the two creatures are a baby Sasquatch and its mom. Apparently the baby Sasquatch's feet are stuck to something, so she is unable to move. Noticing that, Lily starts to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" calmly.
Can Thomas and Lily survive being trapped between the Sasquatch pair? Why is Lily singing? What kind of an animal is a Sasquatch?
Parent Need to Know
The Story of Kalkalih and The Great Sasquatch are the kind of stories that the indigenous people of British Columbia (Canada) have been telling their children for thousands of years. The developers want these books to introduce the culture to a much wider audience. While the first storybook in this series introduces you to the Squamish language, The Great Sasquatch introduces you to Halq'eméylem. The Halq'eméylem language is nearing its extinction, with only 278 fluent speakers reported in 2010.
The storybook supports four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Halq'eméylem. If you just want to learn a few new words, you can tap the highlighted words in the book. A popup containing the description of the word and how to say it in Halq'eméylem will be shown.
Things I Like
I like how The Great Sasquatch teaches juniors not to judge a book by its cover. Throughout the story, Thomas keeps underestimating her younger sister, and approaches the unknown Sasquatch pair in a hostile manner. On the other hand, Lily has a different perspective on their situation. Her kind first impression of the baby Sasquatch plays an important role in this story.
The app also has great interactivity and smooth animations -- try tilting your iPad to see how the pages come alive. There is a nice transition between acts. The narration for Read to Me is professionally recorded, and each character has a unique voiceover.
The Great Sasquatch is a nice standalone storybook in the Bramble Berry Tales series. The story teaches juniors not to judge others before getting to know them personally. It shows that even the least expected of us can do marvellous things when given the chance. If you like the story, you should check out the first storybook in this series, The Story of Kalkalih, too.
App was provided for our honest review.