Available in the App Store

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Koko the Great is the story of a young boy who is given the responsibility of staying home alone while his mother goes to the market and of the adventure he goes on while she is away. Using his Mother’s cooking pot as a helmet and her spatula as a sword, he sets off to save their village from the giants. Not only will he save the village, but will he prove to his mother that he can be trusted to handle the responsibility she has given him.

Inspiration for the story comes from the painting, “Life By The River”, by Liu Kang. The painting, information about it and the artist, are available at the end of the story. This information has been included to help children tie the painting and the story together and in hopes of evoking children’s interest in the world of art.

Other features included in this book are the option to have the story read to you; however, the words are not highlighted as it is read. You also have the option to record the story, which is done page by page. I found this helpful when I wanted to re-record one page. Music can be turned on or off, as can your recording or the read to me option. Two languages are available in the book, English or Chinese. Navigation is one feature I look for in a book of this length and this book offers a great way to navigate through the pages. The navigation button is available on every page.

Though the book is touted as having interactive animal sounds, there is only one page that you have the ability to touch a few animals and hear their sound. The illustrations and music add to the essence of the story.

Two improvements that would make this a five star app are; one, add text highlighting or have the words appear slower as read, and two, if this is going to be listed as being an interactive book, then add it through the book. As it is now, the user tries to touch the animals on later pages, expecting them to be interactive.

Koko the Great is a simple, but beautiful, book with an important message to children. Taking full advantage of all that digital has to offer, kids can listen to the story in English or Mandarin, click to hear animal sounds – as well as record their own, and parents, friends and family can record their own reading of the book.

Drawing the story to a close, the app draws the story back to the work of art which inspired it, Life by the River by Liu Kang, offering children a context to the illustration and evoking an interest in the world of art.

Regular Price: $4.99