Give A Day HD is a thoughtful children’s book app that helps create discussions between children and their adults about the world bigger than their families, as this app brings the topic of less fortunate children to the attention of young readers. This app is also available as an app for iPhone as well and is also part of the PlayTales Reader application.
Written as a poem, this beautifully illustrated application does a nice job of juxtaposing the character of David, a boy who eagerly awaits the birth of his young brother, with another character, Kolobo, a boy from Africa whose mother is also pregnant but has not received proper nutrition during her pregnancy.
These parallel stories collide as David hears about the other children’s plights, here told poetically as the new mother from the village drops a note into a bottle which travels a great distance for David to find while on a fishing trip, then becoming eager to help with the money he has collected in his piggy bank.
The look of this app is wonderful, with the visual of this bottle floating in water which also incorporates both the use of brightly colored African-inspired fabric as well as creaking boats and intriguing animal details as the bottle floats into larger waterways, creating a moment that I found rather moving and which my son also took notice of.
I appreciate the sensitivity of the way this story is told, showing David from an abundant background with a mom who has all the food she could eat to to support a healthy pregnancy and beyond, and in contrast, introducing kids to children who have less food and resources than they, asking for readers' empathy without making them feel guilty for being from a prosperous part of the world.
Because of this, I appreciate how David empties his piggy bank to help other children, an obtainable goal children can create for themselves.
Every year on Halloween, trick-or-treaters come around for UNICEF, and our family has saved all the change that we have collected the previous year ready to fill their boxes. I don’t know how well my son understood why I was giving change as well as candy to some children, but with the use of this app, he can further understand these actions as well as the need to help those less fortunate throughout the year as well.
These certainly are topics that children need to be enlightened by. I don’t think my four year old son comprehends the idea that other children his age as well as other mothers and babies do not have enough food to eat and may lack other basics such as medical attention, an education or basic sanitation. This app allows us to have open conversations about this, allowing parents to include as few or as many details as they feel are age-appropriate for their children.
It is also nice that this app displays David’s mother breast feeding the new baby - something not included in many apps, which here is shown in contrast to the new baby from the village who does not have enough to eat. My son did not know what to make of the image of the village mom holding her baby without nursing her when she is hungry. It is here that adults may need to explain how moms need to eat nutritious foods and clean water to produce milk, which was my take-away message for my young son as he is just beginning to think more globally.
Interactions are included within this app which will keep children interested, as will the wonderful use of color found within.
NBA Player and Spanish UNICEF Ambassador Pau Gasol does a good job of narrating this book which can also be read by oneself, including voiceovers in English, Spanish, as well as Gasol's native Catalonian. Auto turn is also an option. Do note that proceeds will support The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Hamburg Society which help bring education, sanitation and other basic needs to children in need.
In general, children who are exposed to technology like iPads and iPhones most likely are fortunate enough to have an abundance of food and other basic needs that many children today take for granted through no fault of their own. I am glad that my son has read this book with me and now is more aware of how fortunate he is as well as how he can help others. It is wonderful that the proceeds of this app will go toward such a worthy charity.