Product Review of Wee You-Things
In this interactive, rhyming book, kids meet a variety of characters who have something that makes them unique. Some of these “you-things” can be seen — like Bea’s glasses and Lamar’s scar. Some are silly — like Grace being from outer space or Ruth’s purple tooth. Some help kids see their own uniqueness or appreciate differences in others. Brad has two dads, and Dot gets scared a lot. The message is clear: “No one in the world is the same,” and “without ‘you-things’ we’d be boring and plain.”
Kids put themselves in the story by creating their own character, choosing an outfit, and taking their picture with the device’s camera or choosing a drawn face. Then they get to name their “you-thing” and join the parade celebrating differences.
The story is short but powerful and could work beautifully at the beginning of the school year to give kids a chance to get to know and appreciate one another and share more about themselves in a positive environment. At the end of the story, kids can complete a sentence about themselves (or a character they create) and what makes him or her unique. This activity lets kids express themselves creatively.
The fun drawings will amuse kids and introduce them to differences without making them feel uncomfortable. The range of “you-things” displayed show kids differences — in appearance, in family structure, in likes and dislikes, and more — all things that make each individual special. They rhyming name and difference, along with the illustrations, keep the tone light, and kids will need to discuss and think more deeply to fully grasp and appreciate the message. The extension questions are easy to miss, but are important for kids to process the story. You can get to them by holding the heart icon at the top of the screen, choosing the How It Works tab, and swiping to the last page.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Kids will enjoy the whimsical, sometimes silly, characters and enjoy interacting with the illustrations. The ability to personalize your character adds to the engagement factor.
Curriculum and Instruction
The rhyming words reinforce phonics and reading, and the story teaches kids self-respect and respect for differences. Kids are empowered to create their own character, which pulls them into the story and personalizes learning.
A detailed help section explains how to interact with the book, though the controls are intuitive. The last page of the How It Works section includes questions to guide parents in extending learning.