Our Overall rating: 4.5
sold gold rating starsold gold rating starsold gold rating starsold gold rating star1/2 gold rating star more...

Leo the Lightning Bug

August 2, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Leo is a lightning bug that won't give up ...

This is a charming story about a little lightning bug who is having a hard time finding his light. He is very frustrated, like any child wanting to do something grown up. His mother encourages Leo to be patient and feel good about himself, but he still struggles. No matter what he does, he just can't seem to light up. But despite teasing & feeling discouraged, the little bug keeps practicing, becoming triumphant one night during a thunder storm. In the end Leo discovers he has a bright, beautiful light (and that he is very brave).

This book was published in print in 2001 and has over a dozen 5 star reviews on Amazon.com that glow about the heart-warming story by Eric Drachman. It is also filled with gorgeous, color-drenched illustrations by James Muscarello. As a digital title, from Oceanhouse Media, this app is well made with easy to read text that highlights as narrated, simple page swiping and ample settings.

Leo the Lightning Bug is only lightly animated (mostly just the rain & lightning). It also doesn't have much interactivity, but you can tap Leo (and the other characters) to hear a name or a few other sounds. You can also tap words to hear them read individually. The narration is delightful, with a child voicing the part of Leo. Leo's dialogue is so 'child-like' though, that it can be hard to make out without the text to read-along. This can be an issue for young listeners who may need more articulate linguistic modeling. 

Overall, this is a perfect bedtime read. The light animation & interactivity help the story come alive a bit more, but never overwhelm the storytelling. The book is particularly enchanting in a low-light enviroment, with light itself playing an important role in the story. Above all, though, Leo the Lighning Bug is adorable, with a story that will win as many hearts in digital form as it did in print.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


Continue to star ratings »»

Your Vote

Back to Top

Leo the Lightning Bug

August 2, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

Continue to story synopsis »»

Back to Top

Eric Drachman/James Muscarello

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
10 - 15 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
68 Pages


Story Synopsis - Leo the Lightning Bug

Leo is a little lightning bug who has a bit of a complex about his smallness. "Even my name is small!" he exclaims. His mother tries to comfort him. Leo spends his days practicing his light, but he can never get it to turn on. He is teased about this by his peers and feels very discouraged. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot light up.

So Leo runs away, flying far away to a dark, deep cave. At first he just cries. Then he dries his tears and gets angry. Then he hears the echo of his mother's voice, saying 'with a little time & practice'. So he decides to practice some more. A rain storm is now raging outside. Real lightning in the sky scares Leo, so he responds with ... a light. Now he feels brave as a lion (which is what his mom says his name means).

When he sees his friends again, at first Leo doesn't light up, but he also doesn't feel bad, not embarrased or sad. Instead he feels confident. And in the end all the friends are laughing and having fun. As Leo says goodbye, he lights up. His friends are impressed. Leo is growing up! When his mother tucks him in that night Leo is glowing ... 'right through the covers'.


Continue to screen shots »»

Back to Top

Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, News, Sound Effects, Links to: AppStore, Email, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 19 MB

Version: 1.08

Lite Version Available: No



Leo the Lightning Bug

Continue to videos »»

Back to Top

Other Apps from Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Back to Top

Other Apps with similar ratings.

Back to Top

If you know of another version not listed here please let us know

iTunes Link: Kind of Version: Your e-mail(optional): You Name(optional):

Videos - Leo the Lightning Bug

Back to Top