Llama Llama Red Pajama is a lovely universal storybook application which brings the popular picture book of the same name to life. Enjoy this book with narration or without, and parents who read this story to their children have the option for their storytelling to be accompanied by soothing music and fun effects – or not, and a Spanish translation is also included.

For those who do not know, this is a story is written in rhyme about a young llama and his separation anxiety from his momma after she gently puts him to bed and goes downstairs to do some chores.

This is a favorite book in our family, and for us both a perfect book to read at bedtime as well as a beloved book in my son’s preschool. I love how this story is told from the point-of-view of both the llama and his mama as the llama child attempts to fall asleep as the mama tends to a sink full of dishes and other adult tasks. The llama child then misses his mama and becomes overly dramatic in a way that is very cute and very relatable to my 3.5 year old son.

I really enjoy this app and so does my son. The illustrations also found within the printed version of this storybook are marvelous, as these tender emotions of love, fear and finally contentment are lovingly portrayed in the facial expressions of both mama and child.

Here, simple interactive animations are included as the mama and child move their heads and limbs, bobble-head style, as well as other hotspots that relate to this story, such as popping the bubbles found as mama washes dishes or ringing the telephone. A few times the young llama also speaks, as he whimpers first quietly and then louder for his mama and makes other related sounds which really tug at my heartstrings each time we explore this app.

I do that find these interactions add to the richness of this story without being distracting, and it is nice that all the included music and sounds can be muted while a parent reads this story, if one wishes.

Although extremely popular, this book has also been criticized for being scary for suggestive children, as Llama Llama Red Pajama gets very upset, shown in some very vivid illustrations that we love, but may overwhelm some children.

The mama here has also been accused of acting uncaring to her child as he asks for a drink, and it takes mamma a while to fulfill this request. For me, I appreciate how the story shows this issue from both sides. From the mama’s point-of-view, she is really in the throes of housework and is doing the best job she can juggling her responsibilities, but from the llama child’s perspective, the seconds or minutes he waits for his mama to return are too much for him to bear. It is important to note here that the time frame in which the mama tells the child to wait is open for interpretation and is a nice starting point to talk to one’s child about empathizing about what each of the different characters here is feeling and why.

For us, this book is wonderful as it de-mystifies the activities that parents may engage in when their children go to sleep, as I think my son has put off going to bed for fear of missing something he would like to be part of.

I do tend to wait until my son is asleep to leave the room, but as he sleeps 12 hours a night it is unrealistic for me to stay with him all this time, so after he is out for the night I do leave to take care of other business much like the llama mamma in this story. My son sometimes may wake up after being put down and for him, my not being there has in the past been a trigger for tears.

I really think this book has helped my son with his fears of my not being by his side instantly, as our favorite line of this book is “Mamma Llama’s always near, even if she is not right here” – a very important message for my son to learn, lucky for us, this line became a light bulb moment for him, taking this story in and he has now had fewer issues with separation anxiety himself, knowing that I too am always near even if I am not right there with him at every moment and it may take a minute for me to sometimes get back to him. I have also used the term “no llama drama” to put my son back to bed without effort, something that surprised me as having worked the first time I tried this technique.

Some may want to compare this and other rhyming books like it to Dr. Seuss, the best lyrical wordsmith of children’s literature. As tempting as this is, I avoid this comparison as Dr. Seuss’s sentence structures are often long, fantastical, and for me, sometimes cumbersome to read out loud. Here, Llama Llama Red Pajama is wonderfully simple and easy to read, both out loud to children as well as an easy reader for older kids, making this book a nice beginner book to also read to a younger sibling as the sentences repeat common words to this story, and the sentences are short and easy to speak and read.

I also love the Spanish translation of this book, as this simple style can be enjoyed by new learners of the Spanish language as well as children who don’t speak English as a primary language and who may enjoy the English section as a primer to this language as well.

I do not see this app as taking the place of the beloved printed storybook in our family, but it is nice that with narration, my son can listen to this book when we are out and about, and for this reason, I especially like that this is a universal application.

I do recommend this app as we have enjoyed it very much, as we do the book in traditional form. It is worth noting that I have had no issues with the use of this app as many others have reported, these issues stemming possibly from not updating one’s device to iOS 5 before down loading this story, good to know.

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