The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have been among my child's favorites in print for many years, all 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 and his mom go to the beach. Feeling nervous about being someplace new where he doesn't know anyone, Miko begins to worry that he shouldn't leave Mimiki alone, even to go swimming.
In a lovely plot twist, Miko finds his own solution by reaching out to another child, under a neighboring beach umbrella. He asks the little girl to watch Mimiki for him. Later in the day, Miko is shown having a fun time making a sand castle with his new friend. The ever-patient mother mouse (who appears to be a single-parent in the series), also makes a new friend. She is shown looking happier than ever chatting with the charming dad of Miko's new playmate. I was delighted to see Mom getting a little much-deserved attention.
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 and his mom drive out to the ocean for a vacation. When they arrive, Miko is excited to go swimming and do all the fun things at the beach, but he also notices that he doesn't know anyone in this new place. He thinks Mimiki (his doll) looks nervous too. "Don't worry, I won't leave you alone," he tells his Mimiki.
But when his mom is ready to take him to go swimming in the ocean, Miko doesn't want to leave Mimiki by himself on the beach towel. "What if somebody takes him?" Miko worries to his mother, who suggests they hide Mimiki in her beach bag. Looking around at the other beach-goers, Miko notices a little girl with a doll. He asks her to let Mimiki play with them while he goes swimming.
The little girl, Mia, and her dad promise to take good care of Mimiki while he goes off to swim. When they return, Miko & Mia decide to play together, building a sand castle.