App Review

Wee You-Things

Kids join the story celebrating uniqueness -- including their own

  • Bea wears glasses to help her see. Other kids in the story have unique looks and likes.

  • Niels has orange wheels. Kids will likely find characters in the book they can identify with or that they can relate to someone they know.

  • Kids are asked what their special "you-thing" might be, and they can fill it in on their own page of the book.

  • The story ends with a parade celebrating the differences that make us unique.

Review
Pros: Kids will identify with at least one of the characters -- if not several -- and will happily put themselves into the story.
Cons: The silliness of some characters may distract some kids from the important message of valuing uniqueness.
Bottom Line: Wee You-Things may not be a book that kids revisit many times, but the message is powerful.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids will enjoy the whimsical, sometimes silly, characters and enjoy interacting with the illustrations. The ability to personalize your character adds to the engagement factor.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

The rhyming words reinforce phonics and reading, and the story teaches kids self-respect and respect for differences. Kids are empowered to create their own character, which pulls them into the story and personalizes learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

A detailed help section explains how to interact with the book, though the controls are intuitive. The last page of the How It Works section includes questions to guide parents in extending learning.

Our Review
What's It Like?

In this interactive, rhyming book, kids meet a variety of characters who have something that makes them unique. Some of these "you-things" can be seen -- like Bea's glasses and Lamar's scar. Some are silly -- like Grace being from outer space or Ruth's purple tooth. Some help kids see their own uniqueness or appreciate differences in others. Brad has two dads, and Dot gets scared a lot. The message is clear: "No one in the world is the same," and "without 'you-things' we'd be boring and plain."

Kids put themselves in the story by creating their own character, choosing an outfit, and taking their picture with the device's camera or choosing a drawn face. Then they get to name their "you-thing" and join the parade celebrating differences.

Is It Good For Learning?

The fun drawings will amuse kids and introduce them to differences without making them feel uncomfortable. The range of "you-things" displayed show kids differences -- in appearance, in family structure, in likes and dislikes, and more -- all things that make each individual special. They rhyming name and difference, along with the illustrations, keep the tone light, and kids will need to discuss and think more deeply to fully grasp and appreciate the message. The extension questions are easy to miss, but are important for kids to process the story. You can get to them by holding the heart icon at the top of the screen, choosing the How It Works tab, and swiping to the last page.

How Can Teachers Use It?

The story is short but powerful and could work beautifully at the beginning of the school year to give kids a chance to get to know and appreciate one another and share more about themselves in a positive environment. At the end of the story, kids can complete a sentence about themselves (or a character they create) and what makes him or her unique. This activity lets kids express themselves creatively.

This review of Wee You-Things was written by

Field Notes
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