Diversity in children’s book is important. As a multicultural society, we want every child to be able to find characters in the media that they can relate to and represent their voice. Promoting diversity is also promoting acceptance, empathy, and equality.
Keeping this matter in mind, today we want to introduce you to The Magic Poof, a series of interactive picture books about a young girl and her magical poof of hair. Two books have been released at the time of this review, and we can say that we enjoyed them both.
Wild Hair and Wild Adventures
The Magic Poof is the story of Ange-Marie, an earnest girl whose best friend is literally attached to her. The Poof is a playful, magical ball of curly hair that sits on top of Ange-Marie’s head and has a tendency for mischief. Together, the tight-knit pair do their best to fit in while keeping their secret.
In Book One of The Magic Poof, Ange-Marie tries to decide what to wear for picture day. The Poof helps out by transforming himself into all sorts of bizarre shapes, but Ange-Marie only wants him to look like her normal hair. The pair end up with a compromise and a picture they both like.
In Book Two, Ange-Marie faces a crisis when The Poof reveals himself to a stranger: Ling, a daredevil and fashionista. Against all odds, the three become friends. And Ange-Marie finds out that it’s alright to just be herself.
The app comes with two reading modes: Read to Me and I Can Read. In either modes, you can tap any word to hear it being spoken — a helpful feature for kids who are only beginning to read. You can also explore each page for interactive hotspots, which will reveal funny sound effects and animations when tapped.
In addition to the books, the app includes a fun “poof-shaping” activity. Using the device camera, you can take a photo of yourself, family, or friends and give them a magic poof of their own. You can then save the decorated picture to Camera Roll.
Parents Need to Know
The Magic Poof series is created by Stephen Hodges and inspired by his wife’s very own puffy hair. It’s affiliated with Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Jump into a Book, Pragmatic Mom, and The “We Need Diverse Books” Campaign. It also meets the Common Core Requirements for Multiculturalism and Diversity. If you’re interested in learning more about how the series came to be, this video explains it all.
The Magic Poof app is available for free on the App Store. The initial download includes Book One and the Magic Poof camera. If you enjoy the story, you can unlock Book Two and more poof hairstyles to play with as an in-app purchase from the Parent’s Corner. Alternatively, you can purchase the books in paperback from Amazon: Book One and Book Two.
The Magic Poof app doesn’t require an Internet connection to use and contains no third-party advertising. All external links are secured within the Parent’s Section.
Things I Like
The Magic Poof is a fun read for all ages. Simple but well-written, it includes subtle messages about self-esteem, friendship, and accepting differences. It’s also nicely illustrated; I dare you not to giggle when the Poof turns into a bird, a cloud, or a flower!
In addition to some nice illustrations, the book app contains entertaining details that will engage readers. In one scene, for example, you can tap Ange-Marie’s shirt to change its color. On most pages, you can also tap the Poof to watch him wiggle and make funny sounds.
What I really like about the series is that the author shows great love and respect for his characters. He acknowledges each character’s diversity but doesn’t let it be their only defining trait. Yes, Ange-Marie is black, but she is also a kind-hearted girl who tries to have fun at school while keeping her magical hair in check. This great writing makes each character so precious and relatable.
My only gripe is that each book feels rather short. On the flip side, it seems that a whole series has been planned around these lovable characters so I’m looking forward to see more of Ange-Marie and the Poof’s wild adventures.
The Magic Poof is an entertaining romp about friendship, accepting differences, and being yourself. This well-written tale, featuring a young girl and her magical poof of hair, is nicely illustrated and features fun interactions on every page. Two reading modes are supplied to cater to different age groups, but the story is enjoyable by all. Highly recommended.
App was purchased by us.