Milly, Molly and Heidi Untidy 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 is listed under the topic 'self improvement' and focuses on the girls' friend Heidi and her very 'untidy' room. Her mother wants her to 'tidy it up' but Heidi procrastinates, saying 'I don't know where to start'. Eventually Heidi loses something in this messy room that means a lot to her - her favorite book. In an effort to find it, she finally tidies her room with the help of Milly & Molly. She finds it at the bottom of the pile. After that, she is never untidy again.
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 and the whole Milly, Molly series of apps. 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!
[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
KIWA International Ltd
6 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8 +
In this story, Milly and Molly go over to their friend Heidi's house. Her room is very untidy. It's in such a mess that she can't find anything and her mom is mad and wants her to 'tidy it up'. Heidi doesn't know where to start so she just gives up and reads instead. Heidi loves to read and has a favorite book.
Soon she discovers that her favorite book is missing. She's lost it somewhere in that messy room of hers. Oh no! Now she really needs to clean her room Milly & Molly help her. She stacks and folds and gets the whole room in order. And she finds her best book under it all. Her mother declares, "Heidi, you're tidy!" After that, she was never untidy again.
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!