Axel’s Chain Reaction interactive storybook app features a focus on art and the power of persistence, as well as a protagonist who is significantly different than his peers. If you have students who feel like they don’t fit, Axel’s Chain Reaction may be an app that can teach valuable lessons to the entire class about how important each member of the learning community is.
Axel’s Chain Reaction features a host of options for users to engage with as a means of keeping the story interactive. Users can choose to make use of the narration and music or simply read without the extra interaction. Few students will be disengaged by this app, with all of the different elements to keep track of and to participate in. For a relatively small price, you get quite a few activities and options in a substantial book.
One of the hallmarks of this interactive story are the illustrations. In short, they are exquisite. The characters are beautiful, the colors lovely, and the app has the feel of a quality storybook in your hands. The animations are good as well, and the movement of the book—the way the animations help to create unique ways to utilize the screen space is endearing.
The theme of this story, that persistence, dedication and being yourself are important is lovely and this is especially important for younger grades. Reviewers of this app have pointed to the main character as a child not neurotypical, applauding the placement of such a child at the center of a narrative.
If you are looking for a way to teach children about the power of difference and the need to respect that difference this story may be a good avenue for that focus. The persistence with which the character at the heart of this story faces his tasks is admirable, and may elicit a rich discussion about how to face problems and overcome them. The introduction to art and its unique qualities is also entirely positive.
While Axels’s Chain Reaction has quite a few positive, amazing qualities, it has a few glitches as well. The screens can sometimes seem too busy, with arrows that allow you to hurry through the story (and interrupt the flow of the narration) and quite a few other interactive elements that, as a whole, can almost seem overwhelming. Even adults who are accustomed to such technology can grow a bit lost. The flow of the story is not always as seamless as you might hope or expect from a storybook. The pace can seem awkward or off, even while the content is extraordinary.
Overall, this storybook app is well worth the small price you pay to download it, especially for teachers who work with students who don’t fit into a “traditional” mold or those who enjoy inventing rather than “learning.” Anyone who sees the incredible determination of Axel, and his eventual triumph over his own challenges, will find the story heartwarming and engaging.