The tree that refused to shed is a digital story with a moral: "Beauty will always come again. Nothing is permanent." With some animations and reader interactions, this app becomes a story that is appropriate for the whole family.
Some lessons can be tough to teach children. The tree that refused to shed by Striding Bird, attempts to show kids that change can be good. It tells the tale of a grand tree in the park who was known for his beautiful leaves and sturdy branches. Children play in the tree's branches and celebrate beneath its shade. As the story progresses from winter, to spring, through summer, and into fall, readers see the tree's growth and change. However, when fall arrives, the tree doesn't want to lose its beautiful leaves. He clings fiercely to his leaves through the cold winter, slowly withering and dying. But in the spring, readers learn that beauty does indeed return.
Have a look:
The app can be read or narrated. Users can tap the sound icon on each page to have the text highlighted and narrated. Additionally, most pages have some sort of interaction. Touch and hold your finger on each screen to watch the page come to life. See birds flock to your finger, watch children climb the tree, and witness the tree's stubborn fight to keep him leaves. A picture menu is also available to easily switch pages.
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This is fairly typical storybook app. It has some minor interactions that don't detract from the tale. The touch and hold feature is fairly unique. By holding your finger on the screen, you can watch the entire animation repeat. I liked that readers were given the option to read first, and select the narration as an second option. This makes reading the priority instead of listening. The lesson is one that can be tough to teach children, so parents looking for tools to help with this might appreciate the story.
Overall, The tree that refused to shed is a storybook app that, accompanied by conversation, could teach a valuable lesson. Minor interactions and animations enhance a story that is appropriate for any age level.
The tree that refused to shed is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store
At the time of this review, the app had no in-app purchases. It did have a parent section behind a parent gate. It also had a small link to a random ad found in the parent section.
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, teacher, and technology coach. She is a self proclaimed tech nerd and is passionate about technology in education. You can follow her ed. tech. blog at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.