The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have 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, it's Miko's birthday and also that of his doll ... a double birthday.
Miko is so excited for his big day, but he worries that Mimiki, his doll, won't get any presents. At first Miko is distracted by all the new toys, forgetting about Mimiki, but in the end, he finds lots of creative ways to incorporate the little doll into his play. A dated reference to a cassette recorder places this title firmly in a different era, but the rest of the messages are timeless.
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
5 - 7 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
It's Miko's birthday. He tells his little doll, Mimiki, all about the special breakfast and presents he will get. Miko then asks how old Mimiki is ... "as old as you are," says his mother. That means they can have a 'double birthday', but Miko worries that Mimiki won't get any presents, so he decides to share his gifts with the doll.
When the doorbell rings, it's the postman, bringing a present from Grandma and Grandpa. Miko enjoys opening presents, including blocks, a cassette recorder and a picture book. None of the presents really seems like something Miko can share with Mimiki. Soon Miko has forgotten about Mimiki, playing with a remote-control car.
All of a sudden, Miko realizes that Mimiki still didn't get a present. He wonders what he can do for little Mimiki. Then he realizes he can build a house for Mimiki with the blocks, share the book and even put the little dog inside the remote-control car. Now it's the best birthday ever.