The Miko series, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, has been among my child's favorites in print for many years, published in the past decade. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series. In this title, the eighth and final release of the Auryn Apps series in digital, Miko's mom interrupts his playtime one day to ask him to do his chores. "I'll do it as soon as I'm finished," says the sullen little mouse, upset at the request. When his mother says, "No, you'll do it right now!" Miko loses his temper, yelling "No, I won't!" and "I'm moving out!" as he grabs his doll Mimiki and heads for the door.
Miko's adventure lasts much longer than the typical small child's attempt at running away, in that he stays out until dark, but it captures the desire for autonomy that children need to test out, despite their dependence on parents for almost everything. As usual, his mother is filled with endless patience, modeling some of the most gentle but consistent parenting known to the mouse-world ... as a human mother I admire her but know I will fall short. But then, I'm no mouse.
In digital, this title has lots of flexible features, including the ability to record your own narration and change the text on each page. While I cannot imagine wanting to rewrite Weninger's well-crafted stories, this is a great feature to encourage children to become storytellers and is a fun way to expand on reading the book. The Miko apps also have an easy to read font that highlights as narrated for the original text, making them ideal educational titles.
Interactivity in these Auracle books is limited to the name of items being spoken when tapped (along with the word appearing briefly). While this light enhancement may not 'wow' young readers, it does help with reinforcing the visual connections between words and images for pre-readers and learner readers in particular. There are also no extras or animation, making the Auracle series from Auryn Apps especially well suited for bedtime reading and classroom use.
Overall this is a solidly made app that gives parents and educators lots of flexible ways to use it in different settings. The whole Miko series is full of great teachable moments tucked into heart-warming stories ... I am delighted to see them all now available in digital form, especially since most are out-of-print. It's great to see such beloved books make the digital transition and Auryn's treatment has given them new life and some exceptional enhancements. Highly recommended.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Brigitte Weninger/Stephanie Roehe
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Miko gets mad when his mom asks him to clean his room, shouting that he is going to 'move out'. He grabs his little doll, Mimiki, and a small suitcase, heading out the door with his mother watching protectively from a short distance. The two at first they have no idea where to go. They try the neighbor's yard first, since Miko is "not allowed to cross the street."
The pair tries a few shelter options, including a dog house, lean-to made of sticks and finally a garden shack. Miko manages to stay put until it starts getting dark out. He begins to get very scared when just in time, his mom knocks on the door with some food and the gentle suggestion that Miko might put his plate away in the kitchen when he is done eating. Miko decides to come back inside and even do some chores, just like he was originally asked. Soon Miko has 'moved back in'.