“'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.


The Brain Lair (KB) said...

We just ordered four iPads to use in our school library. My idea is to start with some apps that would be useful to students either below or above grade level. We also have some Nooks, so I would put that app on and add some picture books. I've used Ruckus Media's Velveteen Rabbit and Night Before Christmas on my iPhone and LOVED them. I'm sure they would be even more phenomenal on the iPad. Makes me want to get one for myself...

Mrs. Horne said...

Seeing this available makes me realize that my school has a long way to go regarding technology. We just received Promethean boards last year and Computers on Wheels a few months ago - an iPad, Nook, or Kindle is WAY off.

However, I will always remain appreciative of what we do have :)

Anonymous said...

Delightful! Fun art, great graphics! Very interactive. My 10 year old loved discovering all the sounds and animations embeded in the pictures.

ahslibrarian said...

(PART 2 OF 2)
Who should acquire this iPad book? I firmly believe teachers using iPads in early childhood programs should add this book to their devices. It also makes sense to send those iPads home with students so all families can have this rich experience together. Even one iPad loaded with ten titles that rotates through a classroom could make a huge difference in promoting a culture of reading in many homes. Teachers and libraries will also want to acquire this title for similar use and as an addition to their center-based activities. Media specialists might consider featuring this title in a technology fair to promote both the technology and the book.

Can it be used with an entire class? There are a few ways that the book could be utilized with a class, but one would need a VGA adapter, active board, projector and some planning to turn this into more than the equivalent of sticking in a movie. For a teacher to treat it as they would a read-aloud defeats the purpose of both the book and the technology on which it is delivered. Yes, maybe demonstrate how it works, but then turn the kids loose and let them go at it in a center in which they can discover and extend the book into new areas. Observe and listen to the comments of these young readers as they build meaningful experiences with print within a community.

Forget the newest iPad commercials and the apps that they feature because A Present for Miloholds its own with any of those featured in the commercials. Add this app to your basket and enjoy a feast at any time of the year.

5 out of 5
John Parker
Media Coordinator
Andrews High School
50 HS Drive
Andrews, NC

janette said...

I attempted to order this...but didn't receive a code. Should I order it again?

Ruckus Mobile Media said...

Janette, I've just checked the email requests and don't see one from you. Please reorder and I'll get you the download code right away! Thanks.

janette said...

okay. Just sent it. Hopefully it reaches you this time! :) Thanks!

Janis G. said...

Oh, I so want to review this app, but I still can't open it. Keeps asking for a verification code.Tried numerous times. It was even resent once. Ugh!

Deborah Sloan said...

Janice -- please be in touch with me via email (sloan [at] deborahsloanandcompany [dot] com) so that I can have someone from Ruckus Media, the app developer, be in touch with you to learn more about this problem. Sorry this is so frustrating! We'll get this fixed! Thanks for your patience. - Deborah

Jan Tell, Integration Specialist said...

I love the idea of book apps. It allows for all students to be independent with Daily 5 skills such as "Read to Self". I picture its use not only in the younger grades, but also with ELL and in differentiated instruction. In this particular case, the interactive piece adds the possibility of taking an embedded skill to a different level. Here is a question you could ask yourself, as you review this book: "Does the interactive piece add meaning to the words in the story such as; under, through, and around?" I think that has possibilities.
Thanks for letting me take a look at your book app. You have the right idea! I would love to see more.


Jan Tell
Integration Specialist
Dodge School
Grand Island, NE

iPhone Developer said...

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Agile Development said...

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