Parents of small kids who are looking to help teach them how to be model citizens and be empathetic for others around them will rejoice when they see what United Animal Nations has come out with. They have created a series of digital books that follow the trials and tribulations of Raja the dog, and how he learns to care for and consider the feelings of those around him when he makes decisions.
The app is called E-Books for Empathy: The Restricted Adventures of Raja, which is the first installment in the series, and is sure to entice and excite kids from ages 4 to 8.
For parents, its an easy purchase to make, because it has nothing but good to offer to kids. We all know how much kids listen to parents. So, having another source of good examples helps to emphasize just how important those good habits are, and that as parents, we are just not saying because we feel like it.
The story centers around Raja, who has come to Earth to help save it. Earth has evolved into a place teeming with hateful and hurtful people. This has led to a place where folks dont care about others, and animals are left without homes. Raja is sent on a mission to do one thing, and ends up befriending a boy who has become lonely and lost.
The twist is that when Raja arrives on Earth, he is turned into a cat who is fearful of everything around him. This is a big adjustment for Raja, who use to be a heroic and strong dog.
The app is an easy download and costs just $2.99. For what you pay, you get a great deal of value. The e-book is more than just a book. It also has games and activities that immerse kids into the experience that Raja is going through and helps them become helpful and empathetic along the way.
There is an Animal Watch that kids can participate in helps them to learn how to understand the emotions of the cats and dogs in the e-book, thereby helping them learn about empathy and kindness towards all.
The storyline unfolds in comic-book style, so kids read what each character is saying, in first person. Every so often, the app will open up a pop-up that explains a particular behavior displayed by either a dog or cat, and what it signifies. For instance, on one page, it talks about what a dog does when it is happy and relaxed. It says that the dog will have its mouth open and will wag its tail. Then it explains how you can approach to dog and why it is the correct way.
The graphics and colors pop from the page, keeping kids excited and engaged. The only thing that I felt could use some improvement would be to add more activities to keep the interaction at a higher level. Sometimes just reading about an emotion and how to practice kindness is not enough. It would be nice if the app suggested to kids to try it with your parents or siblings.
This appis the first that I have seen that teaches kids something wonderful while also teaching how to be good, not just to animals, but to everyone.
Rating: 8.5/ 10