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Sponsored App Review: Smokey Bear – Campfire Kids Book

October 13, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Smokey Bear – Campfire Kids Book is a fun and educational story helping kids understand the dangers of forest fires and how to prevent them, while also enjoying a good old-fashioned American camping trip. In this interactive eBook for Android (as well as iOS), kids can either read the book to themselves or have Smokey read it out in his predictably gruff, yet warm and soothing voice. With classic and good-looking illustrations used throughout the book, Smokey – Campfire Kids is a book that all the family can enjoy. It’s a short story of how Mr Lee and his two children, Harold and June go camping in the great outdoors and it culminates with the children planning their own campfire. Smokey makes an appearance, but crucially it’s the kids that figure out how to prevent a forest fire on their own. So, let’s take a look inside.

How it Works: You’ll first need to download Smokey Bear from the Play Store. Then, you’ll need to choose whether to read the book yourself or have Smokey read it aloud to the little ones.

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As you might expect, the story starts off with the family travelling to the woods and looking for a place to park. It’s here where the first moral is instilled into the kids; to make sure that nothing is left to chance and that even where you park your car is well thought out.

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Once the kids’ father goes to sleep, Harold and June decide to build a campfire for them all, but Harold gets a little too excited.

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Once June tells Harold about the dangers of the low-hanging branches and all the other flammable material nearby, Smokey appears to thank the pair of them.

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The story ends with Mr Lee waking up and the three of them cooking dinner and enjoying the night sky in front of a well-made and safe campfire.

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Opinion: As children’s books go, there’s a lot going for this adventure featuring Smokey. It is however, somewhat cliche with all the hallmarks of an educational feature. Still, I doubt many young children will pick up on this and all that they’ll be interested in is the quality illustrations and Smokey’s voice which makes a really good job of bringing the story alive. Of course, the quality illustrations that are easy on the eye and consistent throughout do this on their own, but Smokey really does help. Speaking of which, I’d love to have seen more of him, but I think it’s important that the children come to the conclusion of being responsible in the outdoors on their own, and Harold and June’s example of doing just that will certainly help kids come to the same conclusion.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – The pace of Smokey’s reading is nice and the ability for kids to read things at their own pace is a nice addition. The app runs just fine, too.
  • Features (4/5) – It’s a quality eBook that’s both interactive and great for those out in the field educating kids to the dangers of forest fires and how to prevent them, too.
  • Theme (5/5) – Presentation is mostly everything when it comes to a book like this and it looks excellent. With some really good-looking illustrations that are consistent throughout, high-quality voiceovers by Smoky himself and an easy to read font, this book looks great.
  • Overall (4/5) – A quality eBook that might be a little short that’s filled with excellent illustrations and some of the best voiceover work I’ve seen in one of these interactive titles.

Pros

  • Stunning illustrations that really help bring the book to life.
  • Font is easy to read and follow-along with when Smokey is reading to the kids.
  • Great for classroom use or to show kids when they’re visiting the outdoors on a field trip or something similar.
  • Smokey’s voiceover is cute and really well done throughout the whole book.

Cons

  • Could be considered a little too short.
  • Not enough Smokey in the book for me, but it is nice to see the kids work things out on their own.

Conclusion: Smokey Bear – Campfire Kids Story is an excellent way of getting kids to realize that they need to be responsible when lighting a fire in the great outdoors and while I wish there was more Smokey here, the overall story is good and it was nice to Harold and June come to the right conclusion on their own. As stories go, this was educational, but also fun as it shows little ones how much fun a camping trip can be and highlights the fun things that you can experience while camping, like the constellations and watching the shapes of clouds. A good book that’s great follow-along with or read on their own, kids will love this and teachers will more than likely enjoy having one more tool in their arsenal, too.

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