icon175x175Dentist Bird: A West African Folktale by Literary Safari Inc. is a wonderful story to share with young children and is a must have app for anyone teaching diversity, compassion, and empathy. The book was written and retold by Michael Richards and has been illustrated by David Wolobah, he applies oil paint to denim with knife and palette for a distinct and original style that enriches the story ten-fold. If you are as intrigued with the art work as we were, watch this moving interview with the Liberian artist here. The awesome story contains surprising visuals and a cacophony of animal sounds throughout, couple this with a just-right mix of soothing music and engaging interactivity – you’ve got yourself a winning combination!

photo 1In this folktale, a plover bird takes on the role of a dentist and makes a medicinal mixture to cure the crocodile’s toothache and strikes a deal for the two species to live and coexist with an agreement that all plover birds will eat the fish out of any crocodile’s mouth without harm. This mutual agreement to help one another has many elements worthy of a discussion on cultural differences and the need for tolerance in this day and age. The children we played with were full of questions and eagerly engaged in this folktale. Along the way while playing children can win awards for their participation in aiding the plover bird in his quest for a healing potion. The gameplay is embedded throughout the story and there is an additional setting for a fast-paced Mission of Mercy game where kids need to move quickly in order for the plover to help the crocodiles. The added learning pages at the end are a real treat; kids can learn some quick facts about the rainforest animals and practice their auditory discrimination skills. One can also visit an interactive map of Africa that allows the reader to zoom into different areas throughout the continent and several more Liberia learning pages! If that isn’t enough for you to rush out and purchase this app maybe the fact that 100% of all sales will be donated to the We-Care Foundation’s efforts to keep children reading and learning amidst the Ebola outbreak.#ReadforLiberia. Learn more. Staytuned: Dentist Bird is the first installment in Literary Safari’s series of interactive global folktales.

When you bring a traditional folktale like Dentist Bird into your home or classroom, you open a magical doorway for a child to enter a rich, new world!

Why folktales?

  • Folktales teach moral lessons.
  • Folktales expose us to diverse cultures.
  • Folktales spark conversations about problem solving, making friends, and community building.

For parents

Are you ready to enter the rich world of Dentist Bird with your child? Download our free Parent’s Guide. It’s full of simple ideas to come together as a family around a unique story, rich art, and great music.

For teachers

A free Teacher’s Guide features:

  • A handy “cheat sheet” that previews interactive spots in the app
  • Ideas for teaching reading, math, science, music, and civics with Dentist Bird
  • Printable activity sheets
  • Common Core State Standards (CCSS) alignment charts for K-G3 classrooms

Literary Safari curates, develops, and publishes print and interactive content that support child and adult literacy. they are deeply committed to projects that celebrate authentic voices, textual diversity, multicultural literature, and real-world learning.

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