Trees Are Best FACT is a beautifully designed and produced interactive picture book that explores the beauty and wonder of trees from the perspective of an 8-year-old boy, Oliver T. Baker.
Oliver is a young tree enthusiast who loves to climb and dreams of living in a tree house. With boyish charm he tells us everything that he knows and loves about trees (I assume you already know that springy shoes are best for climbing?). Yet the real charm of this book app is in its visuals. The illustrations and page styling are gorgeous and make the journey a real treat.
Written and illustrated by Firecatcher and produced by Hedgehog Lab, Trees Are Best FACT is the first interactive children’s book to emerge from this collaboration. Plans are already underway for embellishments, and to release a second title, Oliver’s Tree Fact Book that will feature an interactive scrapbook, puzzles, games and a Treespotter’s guide.
Unlike other book apps targeting emergent readers, Trees Are Best FACT does not have an option to ‘read yourself’. Options are limited to either listening to the narrator or simply turning off the sound – which means you lose all sound effects, such as the chirruping birds and plucky guitar music. There are, however, plenty of other features to keep children engaged. They can draw their own tree and see it framed and hung within a gallery of images. Most satisfying. An option to share your tree drawing via Facebook and email is also provided but given the average age of the users, it’s unlikely this function will be used.
Trees Are Best FACT is a sumptuous, quirky, informative book app that will appeal to children of primary school age. And tree huggers of all ages.