Reviewed by Sarah DeBellis and originally published by The Appy Ladies
Some stories can be a great help for preparing children for life’s ups and downs, for example new babies, visits to the hospital, even a topic as sensitive as death. This kind of life story can help to provide vocabulary for children to express their feelings, and are a great starting point for discussion. They can also let children know that they are not alone. Katie Loves Everybody Together by Annie Monique Chalifoux is one of those stories. It is the story of how a family copes with separation as seen through the eyes of Katie, their little girl.
The story starts with the family together, but as the story progresses, Katie sees her parents are unhappy. Katie is worried and blames herself, but her parents realise and talk things through. Finally Katie’s father moves into a new home and the story looks at how Katie adjusts to living in two homes. The message throughout the story is one of love and respect, as both parents guide their children through this major change in their lives. The child’s fears and concerns are dealt with, and we see her happily living her life in two homes.
- Easy navigation – swipe pages to move through the story.
- Audio can be turned off for those who wish to read aloud themselves or to read silently.
- Text is highlighted as spoken. This feature is supportive of emergent readers who are reading along with the narration.
- Beautiful illustrations – The story is beautifully illustrated by Jennifer Kalis.
- “Hidden Sounds” – Sounds from the environment, such as birds chirping or a child giggling, are “hidden” in each illustration.
- The expressive narration by Allison Cohen is well-paced.
- No external links to websites, social media or advertising. This is a safe app for children.
Normally when I review eBooks, I look at features that are supportive of emergent readers, for example I’d love to see an option to replay narration on each page, and I’d like to be able to click on individual words to hear them spoken aloud. While I’d still like to see these features, in this case these supportive features are not as important as the message of story.
Katie Loves Everybody Together is a story that is aimed at a wide range of ages, including toddlers, and it might be a great help for young children in Katie’s position.
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Author’s website: katieandmatty.com