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, Miko is desperate to have a dog. "Mom, can I pleeeeease have a real dog?" begs the little mouse, hoping his mother will change her mind. When his mother reminds Miko that since no one is home at their house during the day, a dog would get much too lonely.
Luckily, just as little Miko is wallowing in his doglessness, he hears the sounds of a real dog nearby. Across the fence, he finds his friendly neighbor, Mrs. Miller and a new puppy. She is delighted to have Miko help with her new dog, LilMax, giving the little mouse a chance to feed, bathe and play with a real dog instead of making his doll Mimiki pretend to be Mimiki-the-dog. Miko rushes home to tell his mom that, "I have a dog! A REAL DOG! He lives with Mrs. Miller, and she said that because I'm such a good helper, LilMax belongs to me too!"
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
One day, Miko suggests that his doll Mimiki should pretend to be a dog. Miko gives Mimiki-the-dog a bowl of water, a dog bed and then tries to play ball and walk Mimiki on a leash. But Mimiki-the-dog gets made and says, "I don't want to play anymore! I'm not really a dog!"
So Miko begs his mother for a real dog. But his mom reminds him that since no one is home during the day, it would be too lonely for a dog. "When I get big, I'm going to get a dog," Miko promises himself. Then Miko suddenly becomes aware that his neighbor, Mrs. Miller, has a dog in her yard with her for the first time.
As it turns out, Mrs. Miller just got the new puppy that day and eagerly accepts Miko's offer to help. The dog, LilMax takes to Miko right away. And there are lots of ways Miko can help Mrs. Miller care for her new pet ... by brushing, walking and playing with him. Mimiki rides on the dog's back happily.
When Miko returns home, he says excitedly that since he is willing to help with LilMax, Mrs. Miller says the dog belongs to Miko, too.