Monday, October 31, 2011

Cuteness Zombie: A Cybils post

Millie was Here, Book #1
iPad Book App
Available for free at the App store

“Millie was Here,” an introduction to a cute dog who will star in her own series, definitely shows what iPad Book Apps can bring to the table.  Millie is portrayed by an actual dog. I’m not sure exactly what kind, but if I had to guess she’s a Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix.

(You know how there’s that one weird kid in your library who always checks out the same book? That was me, in the 1980s, with the American Kennel Club Complete Dog Book. It’s an 800 page nonfiction monstrosity that would make any Harry Potter fan look like an illiterate hobo. I think I have it memorized. I’m sure my manx cat is super impressed by that.)

Larry's "super impressed" face. I think.
I loved the videos of Millie. I guess I hadn’t considered before that with possible animation on book apps, videos also work well to further the story. My schema is growing every day!

For how many surprises there are during the story, I could definitely imagine it being extremely easy for a young child to navigate (especially since there is the option for the story to be narrated while the child engages with the text). There are stickers to collect and games to play. The reader can feed Millie dog food and also feed her bacon (guess which one she likes better!).  The reader can help Millie with a “treasure hunt” in the couch—watch out for the dust bunnies!(Okay I don't have a clever place to put this link, but THIS IS ACTUALLY A TUMBLR. There goes my entire evening.)

I appreciated that the games weaved through the story but were short enough that the story kept moving. It would be interesting to read the next book in the series, “Millie and the Lost Key,” to see if this continues to be the case. (A portion of the proceeds for the $3.99 “Millie and the Lost Key” go to the Foundation, btw. All the cute animals, none of the PSA at 10:30pm on a Friday interrupting your perfectly fine Workaholics viewing  to remind you that your two previously feral cats are nowhere near enough to help and why did you spend that extra 2 dollars on the Good Rum when you could've donated it so that Sarah Mclaughlin wouldn't have to personally kill every single one of these cute animals on your screen with her bare hands, you Heartless Bastard...)

The prosody of the text is very well-done and adds to the humor substantially. I actually laughed out loud twice during the eight pages. I possibly died from cuteness at least once. I would have liked to see an actual storyline, but hey, it was free! 

For the first time, I am seeing the potential for iPad Book Apps to be a genre all their own. Unlike Audiobooks, which accompany a written book already in existence, I see no way that Millie could be translated into the static nature of print. I’m excited to review more!

Storyline: 6/10 (would have liked to see more plot)
Navigation: 10/10 (super easy)
Interaction: 9/10 (lots of things to do, but they didn’t get too much in the way of the text)
Kidability: 8/10 (might be too cutesy for some)
Overall: 8.25/10

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