The latest offering from Digital Leaf is a winner. Moo Said Morris opens to the home screen, where users have the choice of clicking on settings or starting the story. There are two other options for “Your Sounds” and “Record,” collectively called “Mootown Records,” that are not accessible until all 14 slices of cheese are found within the story. Settings allow users to reset the app to new purchase settings, which is nice for a home with multiple children or for kiddos who love the hunt and want to find all of the cheese again. This area also contains a help section, additional apps by Digital Leaf, books from Digital Leaf and credits.
The story centers around Morris, who doesn’t say “squeak” like the other mice. Instead he has a large repertoire of noises (I counted 18) ranging from a cow to sheep, lion, bell and even a plane. He has difficulty in school and is punished by having to write “squeak” a hundred times. When that doesn’t work, he gets into even more trouble by making these odd noises that upset the cook, a rooster and the mayor. They take little Morris to the doctor for a thorough exam, give him some medicine and wait. As you can guess, he continues making a plethora of sounds that are not squeaks, so the town holds a meeting. Wouldn’t you know it? A cat crashes the party, but Morris saves the day with his special ability and becomes the town hero.
The interactions on each page are simple and cute without becoming a chore or overwhelming to the story. Users can happily tap around looking for their bits of cheese and seeking out fun interactions that don’t take too much time from continuing the story, like having little mice roll a tomato to one another or feeding a chicken. The illustrations are cute and the little mouse town created for the story makes me want to visit the next time I have a vacation. I love small spaces.
After users find all the cheese, Mootown Records is opened so they can record their own sounds for each animal and then play the story with those sounds. This part of the app is really well done because users can change all of the sounds or just some of them. If they don’t like their recordings they can simply return to the original for each animal alone or reset the whole app and start from scratch, searching for cheese and hearing Morris’s story.
Overall, I think this is a really cute storybook app that has been thoughtfully written and developed. The omission of any ads, in-apps and external links makes me very happy as a mom to hand this app over to my kiddo. But with stiff competition in the app store, a $2.99 price tag might need a few more bells and whistles to grab mommy app connoisseurs, such as some additional seek-and-find puzzles, coloring or even some end of story questions.
Cynthia's favorite small space is the bathroom. It has a lock and she can pretend that she’s “busy” if anyone needs her. Digital Leaf is an advertiser at SmartAppsForKids.com. [Ms. Gregory is also a talented writer and blogger.]
This guest review was originally published by SmartAppsforKids.com on March 16, 2014. SmartAppsforKids is one of the top review sites for kids educational apps, games and books. They strive for meticulousness and honesty in their reviews, both positive and negative. Their goal is to be the most complete source for parents and educators looking for reliable info on an app before making a purchase.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Digital Leaf Ltd.
8 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6 +
Morris is a little bit…different. While all the other mice say ‘Squeak!’, Morris says, ‘Baa!” like a sheep and ‘Neigh!’ like a horse. His repertoire of animals sounds is truly impressive but the other mice don’t agree. Till one day a ginger cat comes to visit and Morris’s noises turn out to be very useful indeed…
Moo! Said Morris a whole lot of interactive, farmyard fun that will have young children and adults squealing with delight.
* Features a recording studio where children can moo, bark, trumpet and hoot themselves silly and hear their own sounds play back in the story too!
-A heroic story with a powerful message for young minds!
-Simple interface for young children’s ease of use.
-Interactivity on almost every page – things to move and noises to make.
-Original music, SFX and narration throughout.
-Optimised for retina display
-Surprising animations that will delight young readers.
-Find the cheeses hidden in the story
-Record all your own animal sounds!
-Lots of humour that everyone will enjoy – mums and dads included
THINGS TO TRY
-Touch the animals and hear the sounds they make!
-Tap on the mice playing and make them throw the tomato!
-Tap on Morris in the doctor’s surgery and make him say ‘Aghhhhh’.
-Make the scary ginger cat shriek ‘Meow!!’
-Join the celebrations by helping throw Morris in the air!
-Find all the cheeses hidden in the story!
-Tap on Morris and make him bark!
-Record your own animals sounds and hear them play back in the story!