An Irresisti-BULL Tale about Anger
Angus the bull is not a happy-camper. He stomps, huffs, and snorts his displeasure. The farmer who owns him gives him a wide berth. The gentle cows keep their distance. And the farmer's dog shakes in fear.
One day, a little bird lands on his massive back. In between Angus trying to flick her off his back with his tail and her hopping around pecking, the bird discovers a thorn lodged in the bull's back. After she pulls it out, Angus goes from being irritable to "adore-a-bull."
Why This App Earns 5 Stars!
Angus the Irritable Bull is a magnificent book app that delivers a powerful message about anger management.A good story is a must in the top-rated book apps, and this one is a charmer. Big and imposing Angus starts off difficult and dislikable; but, with the help of the littlest character in the book, the bull discovers the cause of his anger and thus changes his attitude on life. The message about digging into the root of one's anger as a way to diffuse the negative emotion is an important message for kids to hear.
Accompanying this powerful story are equally compelling illustrations. By shading Angus' muscular build with tones of black, midnight blue, and swirling patterns, the app portrays the bull's menacing presence by having him fill the page. His startling red eyes, also create the sense of danger.
The use of clever animations also adds to the reader's experience. Some occur when you arrive on the page, and children trigger others by tapping. Kids can make Angus stomp and snort, thus putting them in control of his temperamental displays. They can help the farmer flee the scene by touching his tractor. In a clever use of whimsy, players can change the color of a tiny, fluttering butterfly in a scene filled with Angus' intimidating visage. This simple act of creating fragile beauty in an otherwise emotionally-charged scene helps kids to feel comfortable with Angus' irritable nature. And the piece de resistance occurs when the thorn is removed and readers watch Angus' face go through four emotions in a matter of seconds: from furious to grumpy to baffled to delighted!
Also well done is the manner in which the app delivers the words on the pages. As the talented narrator speaks the words, they simultaneously appear on the page so kids can make the connection between the spoken and written word. After the narration is finished, tapping on any word results in its being spoken again, an excellent feature that I wish more app developers would employ in their book apps. This gifted narrator creates a different voice for each character, including the raspy, gruff voice of Angus.
The settings of this app allows the reader to turn off the music, the ambient sounds, the text, and the narration (for reading by oneself or by a parent).
Angus the Irritable Bull
belongs in every child's library of book apps! Parents can use it as a discussion starter about emotions, particularly why we sometimes feel angry. It is also a great book app for librarians to use for story time. And it's a great addition to a teacher's toolkit, looking to teach social and emotional learning (SEL).
For other SEL apps, check out our rec list: Apps to Help Alleviate Fears
This Angus the Irritable Bull book app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.