Being Different is an eBook that helps kids deal with the differences in ourselves and others. With the new school year starting, being different and not feeling like you fit in is going to be a hot topic for many kids, so it is wonderful that this subject is addressed in a positive way.
In this story, Bee-different is teased by a few mean bees for having different stripes than other bees, and an allergy to pollen – not the best allergy to have for a bee. When other bees at the hive hear about the teasing they befriend Bee-different. By the end of the story, we see that some differences can also be strengths while learning the importance of reaching out and being a friend to someone.
The story works well for kids up to the age of about 7, but the app in general skews a little younger.
The eBook has many of the standard features, but we would also like to see some type of work highlighting for beginning readers. eBook features include:
Read To Me
Read It Myself
American or British narrator
Being Different also includes the following 4 basic, but fun, activities which are a nice addition:
Matching Game – there are 15 levels of timed games, although it would be also nice to have a a non timed option
Crab Shapes – a fun little game where you find the correct shape
Baby Bee Wallpaper – choose from 5 baby bee characters and see them play peek-a-boo, suck a dummy / pacifier or wave. You can also take a picture for the photo library.
Create a Scene – this sticker book type activity includes characters from the book and different backgrounds. Here you can also personalize the page and, like the Baby Bee Wallpaper activity, you can save a picture to the iPad’s photo gallery.
While I liked the story, activities and illustrations, there are a couple of things that I would like to see improved. Firstly, there is a huge button on the home page that links to the BeeMates website, which actually redirects to their Facebook page. At BestAppsForKids.com, we really don’t like these kinds of external links especially on the home screen. Secondly, the interactive elements on the page seem like they’ve just been added in for the sake of having some interaction. Finally, the design of the app needs a few finishing touches – whereas the illustrations are great, the rest of the app just isn’t as polished as many other apps we see.
Being Different is a lovely little eBook that shows that it’s okay to be different and it’s important to be a friend. The extra activities make this an enjoyable all round app for $2.99. A little more polish to the design could make this an even better app.
Bee-Different is different from all the other bees in Bee-Town. His Stripes are vertical instead of horizontal, his antennas are twisted instead of straight, and unlike the other bees, and Bee-Different is also allergic to pollen. He is bullied in this story by all the other bees because he allergic to pollen, and because he ‘looks different’ In this story Bee-Different manages to turn his differences into positives, as he manages to find pollen for a hive that is finding it hard to find fresh pollen to make their honey. The moral of this story is “Just because someone is different, it does not mean they are not special.”