Dentist Bird | Book App For Kids
This is a tale from West Africa that is sure to become a family favorite. The illustrations, music, and interaction all work together, achieving enchantment. The magic of the rainforest comes alive page by page. Tap and swipe as you meet the crocodile and the special bird that will become his ally.
The plover bird becomes a dentist, creating a mixture to calm the toothache. Through compromise and cooperation, they come to a mutual agreement that helps to ease life for both.
These lessons of empathy and compassion are gifts to our kids that will last a lifetime. Understanding diversity is the theme throughout the tale. In addition to this heartwarming story, the learning page enhances knowledge about Liberia and animal sounds. The play section is loaded with activities. Kids can earn achievement awards in each game.
The file for grownups includes tips for parents and a guide to reading with your kids. Teachers lesson plans and printables for K-3 are also included.
Tap the Question Mark for Surprises!
Wise Turtle Has a Job to Do:
The Forest Creature Both Miss and Fear Crockadile:
Will Anyone Help Him?
Meet The Developer!
What was the initial inspiration for your app?
While I was in Liberia working on a literacy project, I taught a writing workshop at the monthly Liberian Association of Writers meeting. There I met a writer, Michael Richards, who is American by birth but has grown up, lived in, and worked in many countries around the world, including Guatemala, and was living in Liberia at the time. He had traveled around the country collecting folktales, then published a beautifully illustrated picture book “How Plover Bird Came to Clean Crocodile’s Teeth.” I fell in love with the story and the art, gorgeous oil paintings on denim by Liberian artist David Wolobah and approached Michael to see if he’d be interested in the idea of my company Literary Safari creating a gamified app based on the story. He agreed. I had already been toying with the idea of entering the app space and was interested particularly in creating apps that celebrate diversity and storytelling. Folktale in particular appeal to me as a genre to explore because I’m interested in exploring how we can use technology to bring and keep alive stories that are typically thought of as “old” and that are orally transmitted. Folktales are also valuable stories through which to explore culture, problem-solving, and empathy.
What is your favorite aspect of your app?
At its heart, Dentist Bird is a tale of symbiosis and we wanted to create a game-infused story app where children could move the story forward by helping the main characters achieve their goals. My favorite part of the app is where you get to “play” the role of plover bird and collect ingredients to make the medicine to heal the crocodile’s toothache. Children get to gather cotton, pick red peppers, scrape the bark of a tree, and collect ashes from a fire and by so doing, move the story forward. Once the medicine is ready, they can clean the crocodile’s tooth! We continue this narrative-based gameplay in a mini game called Mission of Mercy which is fun for older kids as they have to help a bird fly through a jungle and swoop down to deliver medicine to the crocodile! I also love the scenes in the rainforest where children can see Liberian women washing clothes in the river and hear them singing a traditional song as that gives a glimpse into the traditional life and culture of the place from where this story originated. Africa is not a country. It is a large continent with many different countries, languages, and cultures, so through Dentist Bird, we wanted to shed light on one particular area and invite kids to find it on a map as well as learn more about it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Dentist Bird is one of the first of our series of folktale based storytelling apps. We are currently in production for our 2nd one, which brings alive a South Asian folktale and is based on the picture book “Grandma and the Great Gourd,” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and illustrated by Susy Pilgrim, selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews. The story is about a clever and adventurous grandmother who is confronted by a trio of dangerous animals in the forest and who must find a way to trick them and save herself! We love that it is reminiscent of the little red riding hood fairy tale and that it features a strong female protagonist. The app is due to be released in Fall of 2016 and like Dentist Bird, will infuse gaming into the story as well as a STEM-based mini-game! You can sign up at www.literarysafari.com to receive updates about the game’s release if you’re interested.