Most parents probably have unique experiences of getting asked various science-related questions by their juniors. Some questions are easier to answer, while others may require us to rack our brains because we believe our juniors are not ready for the straight answer yet.
If you're looking for an idea to answer your juniors when they ask you where rain comes from, the Jubitron the Girl Robot: The Lovely Little Picnic story might be able to help you.
The Lovely Little Picnic
The storyline starts with Jubitron, the Girl Robot, who goes on a little picnic with her best friends, Mr. Alligator and Little Birdie. Everyone brings a little something for the picnic: Little Birdie brings a bucket full of olives, Mr. Alligator brings a three-layer strawberry cake, and Jubitron brings a basket full of cheese.
Once they arrive at the picnic spot, Little Birdie starts to play the guitar and sing a song to entertain her friends. Mr. Alligator dances to the music while Jubitron tries to cut the cheese.
Before they can really enjoy their picnic, rain starts to pour. Little Birdie can no longer play her music, and no one can eat the cake or the cheese. They are a bit sad that they can't continue with their plan.
Then, Jubitron has a bright idea. She decides to invite her friends on a rocket ride to find out where the rain comes from. They fly over the clouds and find out that Mr. Sunshine is the cause of the heavy rain; he was taking a bath and splashing water everywhere on earth.
After Jubitron explains how the rain has prevented them to have their picnic, Mr. Sunshine apologizes. When Jubitron asks him to come join their picnic, Mr. Sunshine gladly accepts and even brings a rainbow along to the picnic.
Parents Need to Know
Unlike other storybook apps, Jubitron the Girl Robot: The Lovely Little Picnic has a strong musical theme in it. Throughout the app you will hear several original soundtracks being played.
A lot of the interactions in the app also trigger musical effects of some sorts. For example, in the first page you can move the earth in any direction like a turntable, and affect the background music that is currently being played.
Each page is designed to have a unique interaction relevant to that page. Some of them are quite obvious, while others not so much. If you have problems finding the kind of interactions you can do with the objects in a page, you can tap Little Birdie at the bottom left corner of each page. She will show you what objects can be played with.
Unfortunately, the placement of the Little Birdie's hint makes it a bit weird to navigate back to the previous page. While you can easily find the next-page navigation on the bottom right corner of each page, you might be surprised to find that the back button is located on the upper half of the page's left border.
Things I Like
I really like the original music included in the app. Both my sons also like the music. My one-year-old Noah always dances every time he hears the Jubitron music. I know it is not mandatory for storybooks to have good original music in it, but it can really enhance the reading experience.
I also like the way the developers implement unique interactions throughout the app. The two things that stand out for me are: the game of olives and the cloud squeezing.
In the game of olives, you can flick any number of olives from the seemingly-endless bucket. But when the olives reach a certain number, some start to disappear to prevent the screen from getting overcrowded. You can also tilt your iOS device to watch the olives move across the screen.
The second interaction that I really like is the cloud squeezing part. Who would have guessed that you can pinch to squeeze a few rain drops from the cloud? As a parent who encourages my juniors to be creative, I believe this is a good example of how we can be creative and imaginative too.
Finally, the part that amazes me most is when Jubitron flies over the clouds to find out the source of her problem. Not only does it show how juniors can react to their problems, but it also reveals a surprisingly imaginative answer of where rain comes from.
Jubitron the Girl Robot: The Lovely Little Picnic is a musical storybook app that tries to highlight creativity and imagination. It has a great story and nicely crafted interactions. I would recommend it for juniors ages two to five.
- Cocoons and Caterpillars. A cute animal tale about a gentle crocodile who needs help cleaning his teeth.
- Red in Bed. What happens when the color red gets ill? Find out in this musical book app.
- Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery. A colorful and imaginative child's tale about where lost balloons go.