Reviewed by Mary
Nora’s Crabby Day HD by Jan and Todd Graveline, is an iPad only app brought to the app store by PicPocket Books. Nora wakes up in a bad mood, she is just feeling downright crabby, and her bad mood soon starts to affect everything around her. The book has read it myself and read to me options, and the text can be highlighted as it is read in either mode. The story is lightly animated and on each page you see the effects of Nora’s crabby mood on the world around her. The illustrations have a distinctly retro feel and look like a collage, and the story is told in rhyming verse. It is narrated by a child, who does a great job and who you could just imagine as Nora. There is music playing quietly in the background. There is a small amount of interactivity e.g. sound effects for her stepping in the puddle and a burping pickle.
Nora wakes up just knowing it is going to be a bad day. “She woke with a feeling way down deep in her toes. This day would be awful. Why? No one knows.” As she goes about her day her bad mood affects everything around her -the bathroom mirror cracks, grey rain clouds follow her as she walks to school, even the birds stop singing. Her day goes from bad to worse- she steps in a puddle, a squirrel throws a nut at her, instead of her favorite teacher she has a scary sub, and nothing at school goes right. When school is over Nora rushes home and goes straight to bed. Then she hears a voice call “Where’s my sweet Nora?”. It is Nora’s mom, who tells her that everyone has days where they feel crabby and sad for no reason, she then has some very wise advice to share “Whenever that happens, the best thing to do, is to ask for a hug from someone who loves you”. Nora’s mom, dad and brother all hug her, making her feel much better, then Nora and the world around her all brighten up.
This story has a really nice feel about it, the rhyming verse works well – there is a print book called “Roger’s Upside Down Day” that has long been a favorite in my household and this has a similar feel about it. The illustrations are funky but fun at the same time, and the narrator does a great job. I love how the world around her even down to the wallpaper on the wall, turns grey and gloomy in response to Nora’s mood, and brightens again when she does. As well as being a fun read, this story has an important message – its ok to feel crabby or blue – everyone does sometimes, but that asking for a hug from a loved one can be a good way to feel better. The word highlighting as it is read is a great option to encourage reading. There are just two things I would like to see added to this app – a home button and page navigation, at the moment you have to flip through all the pages one by one to restart the book. The author recommends this book for age 2-5 years, but I would extend that age range a little, as I think kindergarten and first grade students will enjoy it too. A very cute book and well worth downloading!
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Cost: $1.99 (24.5MB)
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