A Cautionary Tail for iPad ($4.99) by Rawr Media Pty Ltd is a beautiful interactive children’s book with a message that doesn’t just apply to the younger generation. Based on the award-winning short film “A Cautionary Tail” from 2012, this app brings the movie to your iPad in a format that children can play with while they learn.
Meet a young girl with a tail. She came into the world in the usual way, but upon closer inspection, it was clear that this girl was different. On her back was a tiny lump. As she grew, that lump became a bump, and it eventually sprouted into a magnificent tail.
Her parents loved her regardless of how different she was. As a child she loved her tail and all the amazing things that it could do. Then, her schoolmates began to notice it. Suddenly, it wasn’t the amazing thing that she loved to play with. It became a mark of how she was different. Little by little, the joy her tail brought to her leaked away.
The story deals with feelings of loneliness, sadness, and disappointment with grace. It doesn’t preach to kids about how they just need to cheer up and be happy about what makes them different. It takes them through a real journey that most people have made. It talks about what happens when we cut off the parts of us that make us special just because other people tell us to.
The story warns that the ending “isn’t all roses.” There’s real and true pain that people go through when something makes them obviously different from those around them. However, it shows the hope that comes when little by little, you accept that you, just like the girl, have a tail of sorts.
The graphics in the book are beautiful to say the least. Many of the scenes actually play out like a movie. It’s like watching the short film scene-by-scene. There are also interactive parts that the kids can enjoy. You can paint a mural, tilt the iPad to drive the car, or make shadow puppets.
I highly recommend this book for any kids who are dealing with bullying, feeling left out, or coping with the changes that come from starting school. It’s an inspirational story that even reminds me as an adult how silly it is to cut off parts of my personality just to suit others.