Saturday, January 23, 2016

Silly Elephant

Poduri, N. (2015). Silly Elephant. Gopi Poduri.

Children's Picture Book / Interactive / Teachable Moments

I gave this book 4 of 5 stars

Summary: Ephan is a silly elephant who loves to do silly things. He is forever teasing his friends and playing practical jokes on them. Eventually, his friends fight back, and Ephan learns a valuable lesson.
This book includes audio and other interactive materials. It's 51.1MB, requires iOS 5.0 or higher, and iBooks 3 or higher.
Silly Elephant is an interactive book is visually appealing with Disney caliber illustrations provided by Venumadhav Kattoju. When the narration feature is activated (available on iPad version through the App store) the story is wonderfully narrated by an expressive young boy. As the child reads, the words are highlighted on the page, so pre-readers can follow along and new readers can keep learning.  This is especially helpful as the lay-out of some pages has the dialogue reading from right to left instead of vice-versa. 

Happily, the book is very-well written and has a great story-line. There are some content concerns, especially in the behavior of the main character, Ephan (rhymes with Ethan) being deemed "silly." I don't think most readers would or should construe Ephan's actions as silly -- they are mean and dangerous and characteristic of a bully; "silly" implies harmlessness.  I think it's a poor word choice, and though Ephan does learn his lesson and is able to empathize with how others might have felt, I am not sure it overcomes that he was a bully.  Also, the illustrations to help with telling time may cause new learners some confusion. Over all, the series has real promise, and in discussing these points with the author, I expect the next book in the series will remedy the ailments. 

I'd recommend this story for children ages four to seven. With the technology, Silly Elephant is designed for even weak readers to be able to read independently; however, as I recommend with ALL children's books, this one is best with adult input and discussion. Thank you to the author for providing me a download of the interactive eBook in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nadh Poduri grew up in a southern part of India. He is a programmer, loves to develop games for kids. While he was growing up in India, he used to visit elephant national park to study about elephants. His fascination towards elephants drove him to write his first picture book 'Silly Elephant. Nadh lives with his wife and two kids in San Francisco. Connect with the author on: FACEBOOK     AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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