A Present for Milo is one of the best books I've come across for children under age 6. The words in the book are very simple and the illustrations tell the story as much as the text. Milo is a cat, chasing a mouse in the book, but it never feels like a dangerous chase. In fact, they seem to be having the time of their lives! The reader gets to be part of this adventure, triggering whimsical 'reactions' from the two charming characters, as well as bringing other items in the pictures to life with seemingly endless possibilities.
This delightful interactivity is enhanced by animation that doesn't steal the show. This is particularly nice in a title for the very young and makes this book an excellent substitute for toddler board books. The interactive elements also only play one at a time, helping to make an otherwise stimulating title just right for little readers. And adults will get a kick out of this app, too - making it an easy title to share with your child. The developer's site lists 80 tappable items and over 125 'animations' that can be triggered and I'm grateful not to have to count them all. They are not overly predictable, either, giving this book great re-play value.
For educational content, this app is also an excellent selection for anyone teaching a child the meaning of prepositions. The book does a top-notch job at demonstrating these rather difficult parts of speech. Specifically included in the book are the concepts of under, across, up, down, through and around. This app also has easy page turning, a home button for navigation and engaging narration. It is well-developed as an app with a clean, intuitive feel that makes it easy to share with a young child without extra set up or instruction. Plus the illustrations are cheery and colorful - ideal for a children's book.
I would love to see an on/off setting for the narration in a future update, but my only real complaint, and it's a minor one, is that tapping on the text of the story just re-starts the narration. With a book for young pre-readers this tappable, it would be nice to include the ability to hear an individual word when tapping, and even better to have a way to hear the word spelled, expanding the usefulness of this title to young readers. These changes would make this ebook a standout educational title, emphasizing 'reading' even more in an otherwise perfect digital presentation.
This book was a big hit in our house this week while my son was home sick. I can tell it will be on our reading list for quite some time. My highest recommendation!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Ruckus Media Group
6 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 8 +
A cat named Milo stars in this little ebook. Milo chases a mouse from page to page. They go under the sofa, across a piano, up & down the stairs, through the kitchen, down the hall, around in circles, through a tunnel, around a corner and then end ... with a surprise party for Milo! To thank his mice friends for the party, Milo responds, "That was the BEST birthday Mouse Chase ever!" The mice gave Milo this 'gift' for his birthday - and what cat wouldn't like that!