Based on the Judith Kerr title published in print in 2006, this delightful interactive storybook hits just the right note for families with cats. Children and adults will easily identify with the adorable and bumbling antics of Mog, a cat that is more of a lover than a genius. Simple things like realizing how to get inside the house through the cat door elude poor Mog, who prefers to tap on the kitchen window to be let in. If you've ever loved a cat, you will recognize a little Mog in them.
At first the family considers Mog a nuisance, even if they are rather fond of the cat, until one day when Mog manages to foil an intruder. The story of this hapless cat and his very tolerant family will enchant young and old readers alike. With delightful animation and lightly interactive scenes, this digital offering takes a gorgeously illustrated print title and makes it come alive. Intuitive settings make it easy to navigate the title, although the text is hidden unless you tap a little tab to reveal the words, which also do not highlight as narrated. The narration is delightful though. A simple series of dots serves as a page guide along the bottom of the screen, but unfortunately, does not allow for navigation.
There are also a lot of links that leave this app, for sites like Twitter & Facebook as well as connecting to the device's email and AppStore, not to mention the web. These types of links in an app aimed at kids 12 and under, is an unwelcome 'extra' for most parents and educators. However, the rest of this story is superb and Mog has become a family favorite in our house for bedtime reading. The interactivity is well tailored to the storyline, the animation, although sparse is very polished and enjoyable. And the overall production values are solid from the beginning to the end of the app experience.
Outstanding extras include a game where children can choose the right "Mog" face that shows a variety of emotions ranging from sad, happy, sleepy, 'cheeky' and surprised. You can also take pictures with Mog and send them to a friend via email (unless you restrict email access in your device settings). The app has a unique recording feature, as well, that lets the user record both their voice and an inset video of themselves reading the book, a feature that might be useful for times when loved ones are far away.
Overall this is an exceptional book app with a heartwarming story you won't want to miss. Cat lovers, in particular, will enjoy this storybook's message of love and loyalty. Featuring top notch production values and a solid digital format, Mog is a great app that takes traditional storytelling to a new level. Highly recommended.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Harper Collins Publishers Limited
8 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Mog always seems to be in trouble because she is such a very forgetful cat. She forgets that she has a cat flap and she forgets when she has already eaten her supper. But one night when an uninvited visitor turns up at the house, Mog’s forgetfulness comes in very handy! [From iTunes]