The Boy Who Cried Wolf
I feel like I’ve been giving out so many stellar reviews lately.
As long as I’m reviewing for Kidztory, that trend definitely will not end. Just the other day I came across The Little Red Hen, which charmed the pants off me with its cute animations, neat page turning interface, and by the child’s voice narrating in that slightly offbeat, disjointed way kids do when they’re learning how to stress syllables and read words.
Kidztory does it again with The Boy Who Cried Wolf, another classic tale of moral tidings. As many well know, the example of the boy who cries wolf is to not tell lies and not lose the trust of others. Children can learn in a fun and interactive way, much like toting around a smaller book where the images are animated rather than static, reading about this shepherd boy who decides to play naughty tricks on the villagers by feigning danger to his flock from a wolf, causing a furor of fret, to only laugh in the villagers’ faces once his cries of “Wolf! Wolf!” fooled them into a stampede. Just like The Little Red Hen, this story is narrated by a jubilant child, with great graphics and simple animations to pull your child into the story. Turning the pages involves a quick tap on one the arrows along the bottom of the screen, navigating the reader either forward or backward according to his whim. The story may either be narrated, or should you child wish to experiment with his voice without the voice-over, then he can tap the “Read By Myself” option; once again, there is the option to have the story narrated in either English, Spanish or Cantonese to cover a fair range of linguistic backgrounds. On a cute note, the characters from The Little Red Hen may be seen in the foreground of the villagers’ home setting.
For those children who are a bit skittish when it comes to bared teeth or dark colors, frightened animals and the like – those children who cling to their mother’s skirts at the mention of Halloween or at the sight of a Chihuahua, even – then The Boy Who Cried Wolf may prove to be a bit upsetting. The story is not in the least bit scary, nor do I think mothers should shield their children from the darker sides of life and expose them only to sunshine and rainbows, the odd unicorn or two – after all, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other moralistic tales were created to warn children of the darkness in human nature and inculcate a natural wariness – but perhaps read the story first, as a mother, before reading it alongside your child. After all, there are no sunshine pots of gold here, just a scary-looking, hungry wolf with drool whipping across his cheek chasing sheep with frightened expression, one sheep even centered up-front, spinning around choppily, tears streaming down his face, mouth open in horror. Much of the story takes place under the glow of dusk and in one shot, I believe, there is even a dead sheep in the background, and in several shots there are villagers running with axe and bat in tow, ready for action.
Despite my preemptive, mostly undue concern over skittish children, I must commend Kidzstory for depicting a darker tale. I, myself, was raised watching Alien and Terminator at a very young age (I was born in 1984), and this violent exposure did not turn my brain to rot or scar me with a permanently pallid and worrisome face. The story here is very benign, and does not compare in the slightest to the oftentimes gruesome depictions of the originals Grimm’s Fairy Tales, yet the message it conveys is just as strong. For mothers who aren’t skittish themselves, The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a wonderful tale about a boy who learns his lesson, and all children could serve to learn from his example.
For those interested in downloading The Boy Who Cried Wolf, why not download it for free, our treat, just to bestow you with the gift of reading for your child.
*When using the promotion code to download for free, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. Out of courtesy, please leave a comment below mentioning you’ve used the promotion code.