UPDATE: A Parcel of Courage has recently released a new storyline for their app. The same great story components are still there and it is still a wonderfully touching story about how the love of family carries across miles and spans generations. If you have loved ones who live far away or are simply looking for a fun, interactive app and fantastic eBook for your children, then check out the new version of A Parcel of Courage today!
Living far away from family is tough, especially for children. Seeing children missing parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins can be heartbreaking for caregivers as well especially when children are too young to really understand distance, expense and time that make traveling challenging. A Parcel of Courage is an interactive story book about a family of three brothers who love and miss their grandparents and how they learn to understand distance and how to overcome some of the obstacles to living apart from loved ones.
Alex, Max and Leo miss their grandparents very much. They live too far away to travel by car or boat and their grandmother has a fear of flying in an airplane. They desperately want their grandparents to visit so they come up with an idea to make a batch of grandma’s favorite chocolate nut cookies, Courage Cookies, and send them to her so she can eat some and get enough courage to fly on an airplane to their house. Together they work together to bake the cookies, package them up and send them in the mail to their grandparents. When the cookies arrive, grandma is very touched by their gift and she longs to visit them as well. Will their cookies give her enough courage to overcome her fear? Will Alex, Max and Leo’s wish to see their grandparents come true?
This touching eBook shares a wonderful story of the love of a family. Each page has several interactive elements that must be discovered before you can move on to the next page of the story. You must help Alex build a marble tower to wake up his brothers, help the brothers mix and bake the cookies and then package them up to mail. Grandpa also needs help clearing the snow away from the mailbox so that the cookies can be delivered. At the end of the story, there is a magical and special surprise for finishing all of the activities. The full version of the app also comes with bonus games that help develop problem solving and basic math skills.
I thought this app had a wonderful message that many children can relate to. The graphics are fun and sometimes funny enough to elicit a giggle or two. The developers recommend this app for children ages 3 – 6 and I would disagree with that. Several of the interactive elements on the pages are very difficult to find and could be frustrating for small children. It took me nearly an hour to figure all of the pages out and make it through the fifteen page story. I would imagine that a preschool aged child with a lower attention span would grow tired of trying to figure it out long before I did. There is little in the way of prompts or hints to help children when they get stuck. You just have to keep trying until you work it out on your own. Other than that, I felt that this story was touching, unique, and relatable but I would recommend it for older elementary school aged children.