A Parcel of Courage is a picture book app that includes interactive games and story-based tasks for preschoolers. Recommended for children between the ages of 3 and 7, the story focuses on kids helping their grandma gain the courage to fly to them for a visit. Practice a variety of early learning skills while enjoying a touching story.
A Parcel of Courage Free Interactive Book for Kids by Mariya Stavinskaya
Ages: 4+ (created for families with children ages 4-7 years)
Requires: iOS 7.0 or later or Android 2.3.3 and up
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android
“A Parcel of Courage” is an interactive storybook that includes a combination of storytelling and activities. The app tells the story of kids helping their grandma overcome her fear of flying, so that she can come to visit them. On nearly every page, you’ll find something to do that reinforces what the characters in the story are doing, which helps build understanding of the story while teaching storytelling skills and early literacy practice.
You can choose to run the app in multiple languages from the settings menu: simply choose English, French, Spanish, Chinese, or Japanese. While you’re there, you can also adjust the music and text level volumes to your preferences. Start your story experience by choosing “I Listen” for an audio story or “I Read” to read the story at your own pace. On each of the pages, you can interact with the characters and some of the room elements to create movement, see speech bubbles, or inspire actions. Each page is panoramic, so you can scroll left and right beyond what you initially see on the screen. Fifteen pages bring the story to life, with three to four sentences on each.
The story contains beautiful illustrations and a good message about empathy and kindness that families are sure to enjoy. Throughout the story, activities let you practice different skills like spatial orientation, memory and recall testing, sequencing, and listening. While fun, at times the navigation can be a little frustrating for young users. Most interactive elements, like turning the page, require double tapping, to avoid accidently moving on before you are ready. Basic audio instructions give you a sense of the activities, but instructions are not provided until you tap the “I” at the top of the screen. From there, you’ll have a visual map of what you need to do, but you’ll need to work together to interpret the directions.
Once you’ve completed the story, you can keep playing through the “I Play” mode, featuring a series of games based on the story. The free preview includes a demonstration of each of the four games, but for unlimited play, you’ll need to purchase the full version for $2.99. Skills practiced include numbers and addition, sequencing, spatial reasoning, and visual memory. As you complete each activity, you’ll earn points to add to your artifact collection. The games include:
- Restaurant: Help Grandma find what she wants to eat by matching quantities and the numbers 1-5. If you get stuck on which plate is the right one, Grandma will offer a tip.
- Post Office: Identify and create patterns using postage stamps to create mail. Once your pattern is correct, stamp the postcard and send it on its way.
- Suitcase: Practice spatial relations by fitting the different items into Grandma’s suitcase. Drag and drop each piece to rearrange it as many times as necessary to fit everything in.
- Mandala: Recreate a series of pictures, matching the colors from your memory of the image. Keep trying until you remember all the colors correctly to recreate the first image.
Ready to take the fun off your screen? Use this story as a starting place to talk about how to solve problems creatively in your own family. Another great topic for conversation? Family visits! You can talk about what it feels like to miss friends or relatives who don’t live close to you, or what you might need to prepare for a trip of your own. Or, try creating your own mailbox and mailing cards from home. When you play pretend, you’re building narrative skills, and creating your own letters helps build dexterity, writing skills, and reading skills.
For more app recommendations and examples, be sure to join us for App Time at Davis Library, Wednesday mornings at 11:15 AM. You can find out about all our great upcoming programs in our Engage brochure, also available in any Plano library. Happy playing!