Green Riding Hood

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Green Riding Hood App Poster Image
Unique, mixed take with poison, yoga, healthy foods, ads.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can start to think about healthy choices, both in terms of food and physical fitness. They can learn more about exercise, including yoga. They can also practice their reading by following along with the narrator.

Ease of Play

Easy to navigate with plenty for kids ot explore. Text appears on screen with narration.

Violence & Scariness

The wolf tries to catch and eat the other animals. When he can't, he drugs Grandma with a potion to put her to sleep. The wolf watches TV with short clips showing a zombie/creature and a man firing what appears to be an assault rifle. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

If the full app isn't purchased, the locked chapters are readily apparent but blocked with a multiplication parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The wolf creates a potion and drugs Grandma, putting her into a deep sleep.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Green Riding Hood is a modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that focuses on healthy eating and yoga. Despite the new-age vibes, the tale adds a new dark streak when the wolf poisons Grandma with a sleeping potion so he is free to eat the rest of the animals. There's also a moment when the wolf watches snippets of TV programs that feature a zombie-like creature and a man firing an assault rifle. Because there's some redemption for the wolf, it sends a positive message to kids. After the story, kids can enjoy some activities with the characters, including exercises, dance games, and healthy recipes (though the ingredients are very specific and not widely available to everyone, and the directions aren't kid-friendly). Unlocking the full version of the app is $1.99, but individual chapters are available for $0.99. Note that ads pop up to push parents to purchase more content. So, while it's designed for a slightly younger audience, the ads and some of the content make it more appropriate for older kids. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

GREEN RIDING HOOD revisits the classic tale with a healthy twist. Grandma teaches yoga to the animals, which makes them healthy and strong. They're so strong, in fact, that the wolf is too slow to catch them for his dinner. Angered, he decides to create a potion that puts Grandma into a deep, indefinite sleep so that the animals can't exercise and he can finally catch them. Green Riding Hood tries to save Grandma with a special juice blend that kids help create, but the wolf intercepts her. What happens to Grandma, Green Riding Hood, and the other animals? 

After enjoying the story, kids can do exercises and dance moves along with the wolf and Green Riding Hood. They are timed routines that kids can follow. Grandma also leads kids through yoga poses, although her creative take on them might make them challenging to duplicate. Lastly, kids will find 10 healthy recipes, such as Yogi Tea, Spiced Buckwheat, Egg-Free Omelet, Pear Sandwiches, and Halava.

Is it any good?

It seems fitting that a revised fairytale for today would impart a moral of healthy living and eating to kids, but the ads for more content and some creepy moments make it less OK for little kids. With an overall positive message, Green Riding Hood definitely takes the tale to a more relatable place for a lot of young people. It's unfortunate, though, that the tone is so creepy. Although poisoning Grandma is technically not any worse than eating her, it does shift the act from something that would be natural and expected from a wolf to something sinister and pre-planned. And perhaps the violent TV programming he enjoys is meant to reflect his low character, but that seems likely to go over the heads of most kids. If the darkness doesn't give pause, there is a lot to like about the ebook. It has a lot of interactive spots, which is fun, though parents may want to encourage reading through once first so these bits don't distract from the story. The inclusion of recipes is a nice touch, but it would be great if there were some recipes that leaned to a more kid-friendly place, both in terms of ingredients and meal prep. Having kids combine ghee and Brie cheese on bread and then toast it in the oven before adding arugula and pear seems like a stretch for most families. The timed physical activities help drill home the healthy living moral of the story, but in terms of safety, kids will likely need a lot of adult guidance to do the moves correctly. Overall, Green Riding Hood is sort of quirky, but it certainly has lots of personality. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about yoga in real life and in Green Riding Hood. What is yoga? Why would you do it? What are some yoga poses and how can you do them safely?

  • Talk about healthy eating. What are some healthy foods you have in your home? What makes them healthy? Practice making a healthy meal or side dish together.

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