Even Monsters Are Shy

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Even Monsters Are Shy App Poster Image
Sweet story gives kids real tips for making friends.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a three-step plan for making new friends as they read an encouraging story about a cute monster overcoming shyness in Even Monsters Are Shy. Kids are encouraged to try simple behaviors such as smiling, introducing oneself, and being oneself to make friends. These basic but important body-language and verbal skills are intertwined with the engaging story (which includes fun, interactive games) that can help kids learn important social lessons. Even Monsters Are Shy is a gentle storybook app that models how to feel more comfortable in social situations.

Ease of Play

Kids can choose a "Read to Me" narrated version or self-read option. Simply tap the green arrows to move pages forward or back or tap the screen and watch what certain interactive characters and objects can do (not all interactive items glow or flash to clue kids into which ones to tap). The eight easy games include minimal visual clues, but no audio instructions. Kids can also tap on a pages icon on the main screen to go directly to one of the 24 book pages. 

Violence & Scariness

No violence, but one game includes little monsters that kids "catch" with circus-style mini-trampolines, and if kids don't place the trampoline in just the right spot, the monster splats on its head on the ground and appears injured, which may be scary for some very young kids.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

No ads or in-app purchases. Links to other apps by this developer are located in a kid-protected area. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Even Monsters Are Shy is a storybook app with eight interactive games and a built-in, three-step plan for making friends. The sweet, 24-page story is about a little boy and his monster, Gurk, who is very shy. The boy gives the monster tips for making friends and encourages him to become more outgoing. He asks him to go to a circus, but Gurk is just too shy. Still, Gurk's struggles lead to a funny, triumphant ending. Kids can read the story or have it read to them by the app's narrator. The games -- which let you shoot marshmallows at targets and juggle bouncy balls -- are just for fun. 

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What's it about?

Kids can choose a "Read to Me" narrated version or self-read option for EVEN MONSTERS ARE SHY. Tap the green arrows to move pages forward or back, or tap on the screen to watch what happens to interactive objects and characters. The eight easy games include minimal visual clues but no audio instructions. Kids also can tap on the pages icon on the main screen to go to one of the 24 book pages.

Is it any good?

Even Monsters Are Shy isn't a solution for shyness, but it can be a lighthearted way to introduce simple ideas to very young kids about how to overcome the fear of making friends. Gurk, the likable monster in the story who's afraid to make friends, learns to smile, say hello, and just be himself. The eye-catching interactive elements, fun mini-games, and quality narration hold kids' attention. Adding some activity extension ideas and conversation starters to further the lessons could boost the learning experience. Even Monsters Are Shy is a pleasant way to help kids learn simple, important social skills.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Practice the simple behaviors incorporated into this app's story (such as smiling, saying hello, and introducing yourself) with your kids before they go into a situation where they will be meeting people.

  • In this story, wanting to go to the circus motivated the monster to try new behaviors. Find motivating events or activities to encourage your kid to overcome shyness.

  • Parents may need to help some very young kids figure out how to play a few of the mini-games, since the visual cues are limited and there are no verbal instructions.

App details

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For kids who love learning to make friends

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