Monkey and the Crocodile

 Monkey and the Crocodile
   by Kunal Desai

Our 125th review will be of a timeless Indian folktale called Monkey and the Crocodile.  An interactive story that shares a morale, incorporates friendly sounds and even has readers going on an animal fact finding game.  It is designed to be viewed on your Apple device that is running an operating system 3.0 or later. Currently, Monkey and the Crocodile is narrated in two languages: English and Hindi, however, if interested, developers are willing to incorporate additional languages. It is wonderful illustrated as the vibrant colors pop from each page. Come swing through the jungles as an innocent monkey tries to befriend a naughty crocodile.

This memorable Panchatantra classic was written by Niyaa and offers three ways to listen to this animal fable.   Similar to other interactive books, it allows readers to listen as the narrator tells the story and offers readers the option of reading independently.  At the bottom of each page is white box. To support all reading levels, we would love to see in a future update the use of highlighting words so readers can follow along with the story. With a simple tap of the arrow, pages can be navigated forwards and backwards.  A new feature that Applicable2U has not seen in other interactive books, is a something called “sleep time” mode.  Incorporating sleep time mode is a perfect addition to any families night time routine.  As you snuggle up for bed, turn down the lights and select the sleep time button.  In this mode, readers will feel as though they are listening to a book on tape as they envision the story in their mind.  At the completion of the story, parents and children can discuss and compare how they each interpreted the story. Applicable2U is impressed with this mode as it provides opportunities to think critically as users share each component of a story: characters, setting, plot, problem and resolution.

Monkey and the Crocodile also incorporates a puzzle like feature that can be viewed at your leisure or at the end of the story.  With a scene from the story, readers will need to find 6 hidden animal facts.  With a simple tap of the screen, a magical fact will appear providing the reader an interesting animal find.  What a great way to learn more about crocodiles and to develop scientific vocabulary (ie. amphibian, migrate, school of fish). If facts or specific words are difficult to understand, this too would open up the lines of communication between parent and child.   A note to the developers – might it be possible as the fact magically appears could the narrator read the animal fact.  In addition, we would love to see some visual count down mode that would indicate how many more facts need to be found.  With these two updates, all reading and learning styles will be accommodated.

Overall, Applicable2U enjoyed reading this classic Indian folktale.  Whether you are a parent or educator looking to teach a lesson or share a different genre of writing, then Monkey and the Crocodile would be a wonderful addition to your iTunes library.  To learn more about Niyaa, please visit their website here.  For a minimal download of .99¢, you too can see why Monkey and the Crocodile is considered a classic and is rated #2 and #3 as the top paid app in the Indian App Store by clicking here to access your iTunes library.

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