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Book or busy box?

Mike Austin’s A Present for Milo (December 2010) is Ruckus Media’s first app created expressly for the iPad and lacking a print predecessor. The story is simple: Milo, a kitten, chases a mouse through the house until they reach — surprise! — a birthday party. This is all perfectly acceptable board book material given added dimension here by a plethora of finger-poking opportunities: a framed painting of a sailboat reveals an octopus when touched, another mouse can be found playing in a ball of yarn, hit the light-chain and the room goes dark, each effect accompanied by crisp sound effects. Austin reads the printed text aloud (barring words like boing or bounce, which are represented by sounds and visuals instead) but it’s easy to lose its thread what with all the hidden effects and noises to discover (the mouse in the flying saucer is my favorite) before swiping to the next scene. If not particularly characterful, the pictures are cleanly drawn and offer lots to point at — just mind your finger, as you never know just what is going to pop next.

Available for iPad (requires iOS 3.2 or later); $1.99. Recommended for preschool users.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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  1. […] A Present for Milo (Ruckus Mobile Media) by Mike Austin review […]

  2. […] A Present for Milo written and illus. by Mike Austin (Ruckus Mobile Media, 2010) Kitten Milo chases a mouse until they reach — surprise! — a birthday party. Clever interactive elements and crisp sound effects accentuate the cleanly drawn pictures and simple text. […]

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