“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How about an app? A PRESENT FOR MILO • iPad app

Don't worry, I still and will absolutely always adore books, but I've been doing some consulting for a new company, Ruckus Mobile Media, and am immersed in the world of children's story apps. As Ruckus just released their first author-driven app created specifically for Apple's iPad (and, incidentally, the app landed debut author Mike Austin a 3-book deal with wonderful Blue Apple Books publisher), I thought, why not share this with my teacher-librarian friends and get their take?  Personally, I think A PRESENT FOR MILO is so perfectly targeted for the 2-5 set, the storyline and use of language is right on (or should I say “write” on?) and the art just shines.  Big, bold, bright – it pops on the screen. But the question is, what do you think?  Would you use iPad apps in your classroom or library? 

If you have an iPad, take a peek below and order your reviewer's copy for a free download code.

written and illustrated (and narrated) by Mike Austin
Available now for iPad at iTunes Ruckus Media Group $1.99 • Ages 2 - 5
Finalist, Best eBook, 2010 Best App Award -- 148apps.com
Story: With over 80 tap-able objects that initiate more than 125 animations just right for active young fingers and minds, this interactive exciting cat-chases-mouse story is ideal for pre-readers and young readers alike.  With simple vocabulary and sound-out words, A PRESENT FOR provides a fun, engaging read-to or read-aloud experience.

Who’s knocking on the mouse hole? When mouse peeks out, he sees Milo…and off they go! Down the hall…through the kitchen…up the stairs…across the piano…around and around and around and around—Milo and mouse turn the house upside down as they scamper, pounce, jump, and bounce through every room. It’s a spirited chase right up to the exuberant surprise ending. 

  • Perfect for pre-readers and young readers—all animations, narration, and sound effects are activated by a simple finger swipe or tap.
  • Includes read-along text (that repeats when tapped) and comical narration by the author.
  • Each screen draws the reader into the story, opening with slapstick chase animations that repeat (and sometimes change) when you touch the main characters.
  • Users get to join the fun in Milo’s topsy-turvy world: touch objects in every room to see over 125 animations—dozens of hidden surprises on every screen!
  • Hours of fun with a thoroughly engaging story, animations, tap-able surprises and silly sound effects—a perfect digital storybook.
Story behind the story:  “We’re especially proud of A PRESENT FOR MILO because the design is intuitive, anticipating where the young child will want to interact with the story,” says Rick Richter, CEO, Ruckus Mobile Media. “It’s the perfect combination of a high quality story, told just right for 2-5 year old set, that fully engages the child on mom’s or dad’s lap as well as the independent reader. And it’s this synthesis that caught the attention of a top children’s book publisher and led to our first app-to-children’s book deal.” Based on the storyboards and app design, literary agent Rubin Pfeffer sold a 3-book deal for MILO and creator Mike Austin to Blue Apple Books.  If that’s not proof of the right-on quality of this app, what is?

Don't have an iPad but want a sense of A PRESENT FOR MILO?  Check out this video:


“I love it. Mostly I love the small details in the touch aspect that shows more innovation in the space - and better execution. The rocket, the musical notes and metronome...it is an eBook, with almost game like function - which is a great balance.” -- Daniel Donahoo, Wired – GeekDad blogger

“Amazing…the perfect book app to stimulate, engage and develop reading skills…. a high level of interactivity….fabulous animation." -- FUN EDUCATIONAL APPS

A PRESENT FOR MILO has been named a finalist in the Best eBook category, 2010 Best App Award (148apps.com).  Like it?  Vote for it now through January 25th here.

Order your reviewer's copy now.