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Sago Mini Babies Dress Up

babies-dress-up-titleSago Mini Babies Dress Up (Sago Sago, August 2016; iOS only) invites preschoolers to play dress-up with four cute — and familiar to Sago Sago fans — animal characters.

The app opens with bird Robin, bunny Jack, cat Jinja, and dog Harvey sitting on porch steps. Given that it’s close to Halloween, it’s just slightly spooky-fied: there’s a jack-o’-lantern and a smiling spider. The app’s setting and accoutrement choices are updated throughout the year to reflect the current season.

Tap on a character to head inside, where you’ll find a wardrobe with a onesie on a hanger and two shelves, one with a hat or wig, the other with a mustache or pair of glasses. Tap and drag any item to put it on the character or toss it away; all of the options are available for all characters, regardless of gender. Currently, there are a bunch of Halloweeny costuming options (mummy, witch) on offer, in addition to some dress-up standards (knight, fairy) and some just-plain-silly outfits (pineapple?). You can cycle through until you find the pieces for a complete ensemble, or mix and match (Viking-vampire, clown-mermaid–private eye).

The animals show a wide range of reactions to the costume pieces and combinations you select, including contentment, joy, annoyance, dismay, pouting, and full-on meltdown. Just like adding a specific article of clothing, removing one could emotionally go either way: cheers or tears. Sometimes the characters will reach excitedly for a costume piece. (The parents’ section suggests paying attention to these reactions to find a character’s favorite outfit and, presumably, practice identifying emotional cause and effect.)

Jack is not amused.

Jack is not amused with this ensemble.

Once you — and the character — are happy with the costume, return to the porch screen to take a photograph of the friends together and save it to your device. If you’re lucky, you might even get some silly faces out of them!

babies-dress-up-photo

Go back into the dress-up wardrobe at any time to give a character a new look.

A spin-off from the Sago Mini Babies app, this one is somewhat slighter than others in this series. But like those apps, this provides a friendly, funny exploratory play experience without time constraints or goal-oriented directives. And with Groucho Marx glasses, of course.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 7.0 or later); free for a limited time. Recommended for preschool users.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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