"Battle with the Bugs" is from the Human Body Detectives (HBD) series, created by Heather Manley, a Naturopath and mom. She designed this series to educate kids in a fun way about their bodies. In the first story, "The Lucky Escape", two sisters end up taking a detailed trip down the digestive system to find out what's wrong with their baby brother. In this title, the girls do their detective work inside the body of their little cousin, whose immune system is working hard to battle a virus. The girls take their older cousin on their journey, introducing him to their adventures inside an immune system battle.
Print versions of each of the HBD titles were released with audio CD's and workbook pages about each body system. I was delighted to find that this digital app also includes a wealth of extra information. It can be found at the end of the story, for further learning. This includes a glossary, detailed information about the immune system, the importance of eating a variety of colorful foods, silly jokes and a page of immune system facts.
Overall, this is an excellent educational title. It is detailed and medically accurate, with illustrations that are both richly colored and authentic looking. Aimed at 6-10 year olds, this title is definitely enjoyable for those both younger and older. As an adult I found it fascinating and my son, who's almost five, was completely enthralled with the idea of traveling through all those icky places, like the inside of the nose. It's not hard to see why the print version won a "Mom's Choice Award" in early 2010.
Overall, this digital book is well made, although it would be nice if there was a page guide and way to listen to the story while looking at the pictures (and highlighting as read). The text is on alternate pages with most of the books pictures, which can be a little bit awkward in digital form.
The best thing about this new HBD title, though, is the addition of light animation & interactivity. You can tap bugs to see them move and the characters to hear their thoughts. This gives the book just the right amount of animation and interactivity to enhance this series without distracting from the very cool (and icky) storyline. In the eyes of this parent and child reviewer, this is an excellent title worth a paid download.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Dr. Heather Manley, N.D.
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 10 +
In this story, two sisters shrink magically and travel down into the immune system of their young cousin, Max. They take their older cousin, Sam, along on this adventure, dodging macrophages and viral 'bugs' while trying to find out what is wrong with their little cousin. Along the way they learn all about the immune system, discovering how bacteria & viruses thrive on sugar and how fevers are important to the killing of invaders. The cousins make it out of Max's system and help him get better, saving the family's vacation.
Dr. Heather Manley, ND, authored this & several other Human Body Detective titles. She has a popular blog, "Dr. Heather" with the tag line, "Be proactive, Be confident, Be healthy!"