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Home > All apps > Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook v0.9

App reviews for "Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook v0.9" [text]


Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook v0.9 [text]

App description: A timely tale of fairness and friendship that will open the mind and heart of your young reader. Harvest the farmer has a problem. Banker Buck is digging on his land and refuses to leave! Can Harvest handle Buck’s bullying on his own? Or will he need help? Enhanced with custom music, audio, Retina-optimized art, and iPad-exclusive bonus content.

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/be-buddy-not-bully-tales-midlandia/id546026856?mt=8

iDevices used for the reviews: iPad1 - iPad2 - iPad3

Total reviews: 10

Developer: Michael S.

Chris L.

What I liked I love how this book teaches younger children how to read with three different reading types. They can have the book read to them, have it automatically go by itself, and once they have learned to read they can read it independently. The animations in this book are really nice and smooth. The book itself is really sad at first and gets touching later on. At one point my six year old brother constantly asked me why someone would do a mean thing like that, and once he was done reading the book he said he never wanted to bully anyone like that, so it really does teach kids a great lesson.

Improvements To be improved I think that the book should get different reading levels. At the beginning it should ask what reading level you are (Beginner, Regular, or Advanced) and with each level up the book uses harder words such as instead of saying, "He was very mean to me," they could say something like, "He was very hurtful towards me." I would also like to see maybe a female voice reading because sometimes a female voice can be more comforting to small children.

General review In my opinion this is an all around great reading app that can easily teach kids how to read, and it teaches them a lesson about bullying. There are not too many things that should be improved, but there are a couple small features that could be added. My little brother loved reading this book and really got attached to the two main characters. I have kept the app on my iPad and he has been reading it about once every night.

Seth B.

What I liked In the forefront this app is an amazingly thorough example of why kids need to be digitally influenced. The best part of the app was the obvious positive message it presented about not bullying. The book was well illustrated and the characters were ones that kids can easily relate and connect to. Gestures and actions to interact with the story along with strong audio assistance was a huge benefit to this application.

Improvements Though this app teaches amazing core values it did seem to get a bit repetitive at times during the book. Since there is such a push for the child reading the book to interact in order to get more out of the story, actions and gestures were used a few times too many. Maybe consider altering the continuation gestures so that the interactions don't seem quite so repetitive. Utilizing different combinations of movements would be a great idea.

General review Being that it is back to school time I feel this app does its part to convey the message of friendship throughout each page and to put down bullying. The creative interaction brings kids of all ages deeper into the app and its cheery context can't be outdone. Although actions began to get repetitive it was hardly a downfall for the very low bargain this app was.

Courtney D.

What I liked I love this app! I love the interaction throughout the storybook I love that when the book is being read to the user, the words are highlighted. I enjoy the concept of this storybook. When being read to, the rate of the reader is great. I think it is great that the user can see a bully can be someone smaller in size, which is atypical. I like that both characters went to talk to someone and that message is displayed in the story. I like that Buck read the journal that Harvest wrote so that he could grasp how he made Buck feel.

Improvements It is hard to come up with things that I wish could be improved on for this storybook. If there was a way to inform the user that the storybook could be interactive, that would be great. I discovered it by mistake. There is a creature throughout the storybook that I was confused about. At one point, the creature blends in with the pumpkins and is orange and n the middle of the story it is green? When clicked on the orange version, it made a comment of not being seen. Is this just an added feature?

General review This is a GREAT storybook. The concept is great. The meaning behind the story is great. The interactive pieces throughout the storybook keep the user involved. The pictures/graphics are very detailed and full of color. The book can be read to the user or the user can read it on their own. When being read to, the rate is a perfect speed and the words are highlighted. I would definitely recommend this!

Julie P.

What I liked This app has a clear message. It is presented in a traditional problem/solution text frame that is perfectly suited for this story. I like the fact that Buck the bully is not portrayed as an evil character, because many times bullies are normal kids who behave in thoughtless and immature ways. Kudos to the technical staff- graphics, sound, animation. It looks and sounds like a quality product.

Improvements I need to point out that some of your premises are a little bit inconsistent. This is a story about grown ups, right? Grown ups don't handle problems the same way as kids. In my opinion, If you want to teach a child a lesson, you need to use children as examples. This is especially true for a complex issue like bullying. Also, I know that the author needed the journal to show Buck how Harvest felt, but no child this age has the ability to keep a journal like you describe. Lastly, the author missed one of the most important discussion questions- "Have you ever felt bullied?"

General review Be a Buddy, Not A Bully is a story app designed to help parents and teachers approach the difficult subject of bullying in an age appropriate way. It reminds me of the old Berenstain Bears series that was extremely popular years ago. You will enjoy the technical aspects of this app, all of which are high in quality. Bullying is an issue that needs to be discussed with children, and this app may be a good way to start the conversation.

Kerry E.

What I liked The illustrations are gorgeous. I really like that there's a map at the beginning that shows the reader where exactly the farms are in relation to the rest of the town. The fact that the part that you are supposed to press next glows for you is very helpful for little ones who are reading or first time readers of the story.

Improvements In the part of the story where Buck starts throwing ears of corn at Harvest, it's not real evident at first that you are supposed to press the other buttons in order for Harvest to dodge the ears of corn.  I understood it after a couple seconds because I'm an adult, but I don't know that a small child would understand without a little bit of explanation... maybe just a sentence saying, help Harvest dodge the ears of corn by either jumping or ducking.

General review I really like how the story would teach children to go to an adult when someone is bullying them and explain the situation. I also like how the chief gave Buck a chance to read about how Harvest had felt about the bullying, and let Buck think about the way he had acted and remedy the situation by himself.  I highly recommend reading this story with your child, whether they are being bullied or not.  Very well done!

Ricki B.

What I liked Arrow at the bottom of screen is easy to find. 3 reading modes-option of turning on/off music.Storyline presented in simple manner for young child. Addresses pragmatic conversation- tap the animal to find out what they are thinking. I would use this app with children who need to practice responding to the question, “What is he thinking?” or “What is he going to say?” Addresses feelings: happy, sad, angry, surprised, being mean. Cute interactive movements and sounds to maintain child's attention.I like the birds flying out of the corn, woodchuck popping up, corn noises, leaves, eating.

Improvements 1. Discussion questions – since this a story geared towards young children 3-6, I would ask questions related to the story, e.g. Who was the bully? What did Buck do to Harvest which made him sad? Angry? Who did Harvest and Buck talk to? How did Harvest and Buck become friends?
2. Make the fire in the fireplace either get larger or go out – eliminate smoke
3. Have Harvest write, with a writing sound
4. Eliminate animal which says, “No one can see me”
5. When Buck is in the water, have the cork

General review Harvest is a friendly farmer who deals with bully Banker Buck who is digging on his land and refuses to leave. The storyline presents the subject of bullying in a very simple manner for the young child 3-7. It addresses pragmatic conversation -practice responding to the question, “What is he thinking?” or “What is he going to say?” Address feelings: happy,sad,angry, urprised, being mean. Children will enjoy the interactive movements & sounds

Michelle W.

What I liked I read this with my 5 and 7 year old, we all liked the story. They also liked the sound effects when you touched the people or the clouds in the story. I like that the story has three options for the person to choose from, this is especially good for kids just learning to read.

Improvements In the read to me mode I think the arrows should blink or something so the person reading the story knows to hit the arrow to turn the page. Although my kids and i really liked the interactive activities on each page, I found that it can be distracting and I found my kids stuck on the same page because of it.

General review I read this with my 5 and 7 year old children. We all liked the story, the characters and their expressions. They also liked the interactive activities on each page. I liked what the story was about, my 7 year old understood the message and was able to reiterate it to me.

Rod L.

What I liked I have 3 boys, ages 9, 5, and 2 and we all sat down to read this story together. I really liked that you can choose to have the book read the story or read it yourself to suit all ages. The graphics are very simple and visually appealing. The voice, music, and story line were all wonderfully done as well. The best thing about this for us was the interactivity where you can tap on items along the story, swipe and shake for various surprises. The message was simple and well delivered, as well. A really great book, indeed.

Improvements For $.99 there's not much at all to complain. The story was simple, but longer than I expected. My boys really liked the underwater scene, digging for treasure, since it was a nice diversion from the farm scene, so I would suggest maybe including a few more tap areas in there.

General review All my boys, ages 2, 5, and 9 really enjoyed this app. The story was well delivered with simple design and a considerable amount of interactivity. We enjoyed the discussion points about bullying at the end with the two oldest kids and our little one had a lot of fun taping along the surprises in the book. Very good deal for the price!

Elena L.

What I liked This is a great story for kids of all ages.  It does a wonderful job of introducing a social subject that can be very difficult to handle and I felt that the resolution was well done.  The characters in the story are very relatable.  I loved being able to tap into what the characters were thinking.  I think that this feature can help kids better understand what Harvest and Buck were going through.

Improvements Overall, I really liked the interactive elements of the app.  However, I felt that the interactive element on page 13 detracted from the story.  After Harvest tells Chief Tatupu how badly Buck treated him then there is a hint to shake the iPad.  It is a serious moment in the story and I think it would be better if kids could just reflect on the conversation.

General review Bullying is a serious subject that can be difficult to handle, but it really needs to be discussed with kids.  This story gives parents and teachers the perfect opening to discuss how to manage bullying and when to ask for help.  This is a great story that is appropriate for kids of all ages.  I loved the interactive feature of being able to tap and hear the thoughts of the characters. 

Kristen D.

What I liked The pictures were very detailed. The characters were easy to relate to. My almost 4 year old was able to understand the concept of bullying and was able to answer the discussion questions with me. I liked the way the characters were able to resolve the situation in the end.

Improvements I would like to see some more discussion questions. Maybe about what you would do if someone is bullying you. It would also be nice to have a version of the story with girl characters or with a school related situation. This would make it even easier for kids to relate to.

General review I enjoyed this app with my daughter and would recommend it to anyone wanting to have a discussion with their child about bullying. This would be a good app for a classroom teacher to share with their class as well.
I would like to see a female version of the story as well.