Milly, Molly and the Tree Hut is one of the "Milly, Molly" books based on a popular educational series from New Zealand. These children's books have been published in print since 2000. They are about the adventures of two little girls from different ethnic backgrounds and often include their multi-cultural friends. The series has the tag line, "We may look different but we feel the same.” See the youtube clip at the bottom of this review to hear the theme song.
The print version of this title, published in 2004, is listed under the topic 'health' and focuses on the girls' friend Maxter and his obsession with TV. His mother wants him to play outside and get exercise, so Milly and Molly teach him how to make a tree house (hut) and this helps change his attitude about being active. By the end of the book, not only is Maxter not watching TV, but he even sees a soccer (football) game from his perch up in the tree and decides to join a sports team.
The digital versions of these books are developed using QBook™, a digital picture book format designed by Kiwa Media. I have reviewed other books using this format, and it guarantees a well-made book reading experience. It features easy page turning and two wonderful features for young readers, Touch-to-Hear and Touch-to-Spell. Not only are the words highlighted as the book is narrated, but with these two features, a young reader can tap on any word to hear it spoken and double tap to hear the word spelled.
The only thing I don't love about QBook™ is the 'coloring' book feature, although it seems like a really nice idea. Each page becomes a line drawing that kids can color and you can even save your coloring pages into the book app to personalize it. I should disclose that I have not enjoyed most coloring apps on the iPad, since coloring with your finger is not the same as holding a pencil or stylus and is much harder to see since your finger is over the image you are coloring. But if your child likes iPad coloring pages, these books are a great choice since they double as a packed coloring app.
Overall, I would highly recommend this digital book. I am also eager to see more 'Milly, Molly' tales. They are not only educational, but also the only iPad book series I know of that emphasizes ethnic diversity. The stories are also carefully crafted to emphasize other pro-social messages. All of the stories in this series, according to www.millymolly.com, "deal with the kinds of questions and trials that children face every day," and "offer understanding in such matters as honesty, respect for others, difference, tenacity, exercise, cooperation, respect for nature, bullying, stranger danger, forgiveness, trustworthiness, responsibility, loyalty, loss and grief." A great resource in digital or print form!
An iPhone version is available through itunes - click HERE for the small screen version.
[The Youtube video below is the Milly Molly song, "We may look different but we feel the same."]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Gill Pittar/Cris Morrell
8 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 8 +
English • French • Spanish •Japanese •
In this story, Milly and Molly build a tree house (or tree hut) with their friend Maxter. Maxter is a 'TV junkie' at the beginning of the story, but one day his mom gets fed up and makes him go outside to play. Milly and Molly were visiting, so all three children go outside to 'exercise'. The kids decide to build a tree hut.
Maxter is doubtful about how to do this, but Milly and Molly show him how to build it and he is transformed into a kid that actually wants to turn off the TV and stay playing outside. Now instead of TV he wants to be in his tree hut whenever he can, until one day he sees some other kids playing football (soccer) and gets his mom to sign him up for a team. His mother is very pleased that he has become interested in lots of new things, getting exercise and not sitting all day in front of the TV.
The "Milly, Molly" books, a series of books from New Zealand, promote the acceptance of diversity and the learning of life skills. The books were inspired by a double-ended doll created in 1995 by Gill Pittar to promote tolerance and communication. Following the success of the dolls, she began writing books about the characters with the first book published in 2000. [Source: Wikipedia]
Lots more information about this series can be found at www.millymolly.com!