Up and Down: Showing Cross Cultural Differences

Up and Down storybook app by Mr. Garamond tells the story of two children living in opposite parts of the world. Profits from the app go to Bubisher, a travelling Bus of Books for the children living in Western Saharan refugee camps.

The book begins with two boys, each in their bedroom. One illustration is more colorful than the other to highlight cross cultural differences. Kids can choose to play a game while reading the book, which involves finding objects that are similar on both sides of the page. For example, a ball, a bird or a toothbrush.

The idea is to show that although the two boys live in different surroundings, they still have the same routine and do the same things such as going to school, playing with friends and spending time with their family. Illustrated by Mónica Calvo, some of the art work is animated which gives a nice overall feel to the book. Aside from the story, there are two additional games to play; a puzzle and a coloring game which can only be unlocked after you complete the story game.

Up and Down is available in four language, Spanish, English, French & Arabic, but handles the languages aspect in a unique way. You can choose to read the book in one language and listen to it in another. For example you can read in English and listen in French. This is very educational and great for language learning. Suitable for kids from 3-8 years, Up and Down can be downloaded for iPad.