App of the Week :: Alfie, Haathi and The Magic Bioscope




The illustrations in Alfie, Haathi and The Magic Bioscope are just wonderful!  This storybook app was created by Growl Media with the intention of teaching kids about other cultures and languages.  The story is about Haathi and Alfie who are the best of friends – though an unlikely pair they might be.  You see, Haathi is a baby elephant and Alfie is young Indian boy who explore the animal kingdom together.  You have the option to have it read to you or you can read it to yourself.  I always like to have it read to us first because I like to hear how well the narrator does with the story.  I must say I  like how calming the narrator’s voice is for Alfie, Haathi and The Magic Bioscope.  This lends itself to a nice afternoon read before naptime.  On the first page we are introduced to the main characters and Haathi explains that he is an Indian Elephant and Alfie and him are playing catch with a beach ball.  There is a question mark at the top right corner that when touched tells you where to touch on the screen. For example, when we touch Haathi, he trumphets a loud elephant call.




The next page opens up to find Alfie and Haathi walking through a circus.  This is one of my favorite pages of the entire story – because what’s not to like about cotton candy, a Merry-Go-Round, ballons and a clown.  When you touch the Merry-Go-Round it spins really fast with all the people on it – and while it is spinning a single red balloon flies up in the sky.  You have to try to pop it before it flies away into the sky.   You can spin the Merry-Go-Round either way and it quite fun seeing all the people spinning so quickly. I know I would be quite dizzy if I was on that ride!  When you touch the megaphone in the story – you feel like you are at the circus with Alfie and Haathi with all the sights and sounds that go along with being at the circus.  When Alfie and Haathi came across an old stall with some rather interesting odds and ends in the booth and hanging on the wall.  And in the corner, there is an old man with a very long beard sitting by an old record player.  When you touched the record player, Indian music is played and the old man smiles and rocks in his chair.  Alfie noticed a very strange-looking box that was dusty and didn’t have a lock.  The old man told him that “It’s a special little box.  It can show you the world.  It’s yours if you promise to be good and give me your word.”  Wow – I am intrigued to find out what is in the box!




So off they go and Haathi gave Alfie a ride on his back and head back to the forest to see what was inside the Magic box.  Only to discover themselves falling through a long tunnel after looking into one of the windows in the box. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland falling through the rabbit hole.When you touch the Magical Box it opens up and asks us what was this window to the world inside.  Farther and farther they fall down the hole which is quite fun to look at it as it changes colors.  First it is blue, then a vibrant green, then red and then back to blue.  They bumble and fumble down the hole.  When you touch the side of the walls they sparkle like fireworks.  My daughter got a kick out of that interaction with the story! And here is where the story ends – unless you want to purchase the rest of the story for $2.99.  I have to say this is the first time I have seen this feature in an app – where the app is free until a certain point.  We are asked questions such as What will happen to Alfie and Haathi?  And Where will the Magic Bioscope take them? These questions definitely want you to learn more about these two friends.  I am intrigued and think the storybook app is worth the extra money to find out.  Again, I really like the illustrations and have enjoyed the story so far.  I like to introduce my daughter to apps about other cultures and languages and this is a well-made storybook app with a charming little boy and his pal, Haathie.


For more information about Alfie, Haathi & the Magic Bioscope and Growl Media, please visit:




Alfie, Haathi & The Magic Bioscope is available on iTunes for FREE:

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