App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
Bubuk App Poster Image
Teamwork wins in customizable story; paper book available.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

By picking which character they'll play in the story, kids can think about what it means to view a story from multiple perspectives. Read-aloud features would help make the story more accessible to beginning readers.

Ease of Play

Easy to name the characters and choose a custom appearance, and it's clear how to advance the story's pages. More features for hearing the story read aloud would be a welcome addition. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

After customizing the story, users can choose to buy a physical copy of the storybook for $30. Option to buy the book appears in the app's on-screen settings menu; parents have to complete a multiplication problem to access the option to buy the book.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bubuk is a customizable storybook app. Kids can choose to read the story from three different characters' perspectives -- a doctor, a driver, and a dinosaur -- and you can customize all three characters' names and appearances. The app is free, and there's an option to purchase a hard copy of your custom book for $30. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In BUBUK, kids and parents can create a personalized storybook that they can view for free on their device or purchase as a hard copy. There's one story available for users in the U.S.: A dinosaur gets a thorn in his foot, then a race car-driving friend gives the dinosaur a ride to a local veterinarian, and the vet removes the thorn. Meanwhile, the three characters watch a solar eclipse and the dinosaur explains how eclipses work.

When you launch the app, kids and parents can enter their child's name and choose their role in the story: They can be the doctor, the driver, or the dinosaur. Then they can choose each character's gender and select an appearance from one of four options. Users can also customize the name of the city where the action takes place and they can enter a custom dedication for the book. Once these selections are made, you can read the story from the perspective of the character you selected. All three stories conclude with the same positive message that friends help each other. The app is available in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and German, and users can purchase a custom version of the storybook that features the choices selected in the app. 

Is it any good?

It's cool that kids can take on and customize different characters, but the interactive features and the story's message ("friendship is teamwork") feel a little thin. Other than changing the characters' names, genders, and appearances, there's not a lot of customization available, and interactivity is pretty limited: Clicking on characters and objects makes them bob briefly or say "wow," but there's not much to do other than use the arrows to move to the next page. There isn't an option to have the text read aloud in Bubuk, and the limited interactive features might make this a better fit for the preschool set than for kids up to age 8. That being said, using this app for free is an amusing option. It's a sweet story, and it could be a way for parents and kids to talk about how the same story can be told from many perspectives. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Bubuk lets you see the same story from the point of view of three different characters. How does this change how you read the story? Why is it interesting to think about the story from another perspective?

  • The story's main message is "Friendship is teamwork. If everyone pitches in, we can help one another." Do you think that's what friendship is all about? Talk about how friends can help each other. 

App details

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