BulBul Apps – Free Kids Apps by BulBul Inc. is a collection of stories presented in a library format. BulBul Inc. plans on offering one free story a week to their already extensive library.The stories are mainly for early learners and are paced to keep the focus on the story. This means story lines are short and simple, but please don’t let that fool you, as most of the stories also displayed a tremendous sense of humor and warmth. The illustrations and animations are bright and cheerful as well as the narration. Both are free from visual and auditory clutter.
The collection is a great way to introduce English as a second language or use with children with speech and language delays. Pairing the drawings with a simple direct story line facilitates comprehension, and is something that parents, teachers, and therapists alike can build upon. Repeated readings of favorite books can get some kids shouting out the story along with the reader – be it an older sibling, parent or teacher. This makes for all sorts of fun and can extend itself into expanding on creative and imaginative play schemes off screen.
Currently, there are seven categories:
- Baby First – A series of stories about the life of babies and toddlers. One of the noteworthy books in this category is Potty Potty. It is an excellent introduction to the concept of going to the potty. Baby likes Pasta and Baby Likes Market are also good first books and can serve as social stories for toddlers to acquaint them with daily routines.
- Bulbul’s Originals – This category has one book so far, and it is my personal favorite. "The Cat who ate Oranges" is a sheer delight, and the storyline is outrageously fun. This is one with a great moral about believing in yourself and others, and that we all have our unique qualities - so important for special needs population.
- Folk Tales – includes classics and a new one I had never heard about before called “The Princess on the Glass Hill”.
- The Brother’s Grimm is represented in the “Golden Goose, The Little Red Hood (Red Riding Hood told with a fun twist), The Seven Ravens, and The Fisherman and his Wife.” The multicultural aspect of each of the stories is fascinating as there are different accents and unique phrasing to stories that kids may not be exposed to otherwise.
- Hans Christen Anderson Tales – “The Red Shoes, The Nightingale, and The Ugly Duckling.”
- Indian Mythology – with the “Birth of Krishna” lends itself to discussions about cultures and religions around the world.
- And finally Princess Stories – including some of the greats – Snow White, Rapunzel, and the Princess and the Pea.
I really enjoyed this collection, and you can’t beat the price, as it is currently free, with the promise of adding new stories on a weekly basis. This is quite an extensive piece of work and it is very generous of BulBul Inc. to offer such an app. I did find a few typos that could be easily remedied in an update in the sections for adults. There were no errors in the stories themselves. The sense of humor that runs throughout most of the stories will keep many an adult entertained through repeated readings of a story. The layout is also simple and intuitive enough for young children to explore independently for hours of entertainment and language stimulation. Recommended.