The Mouse and the Meadow


  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Highly Recommended

  • The Mouse and the Meadow
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: March 5, 2014
  • Quality
    Editor: 90%
  • Education
    Editor: 90%
  • Entertainment
    Editor: 100%
  • Value
    Editor: 100%
  • Child Friendly
    Editor: 100%

Review Summary:

The Mouse and the Meadow is an engaging ebook app that will guide young children on a nature adventure through a meadow with a mouse’s eye view of the world. The beautiful illustrations and rhythmic, rhyming text guide readers through a world of friendly and not-so-friendly creatures, filled with action and surprises, that will hold your child’s attention all the way through.

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App Info

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Download on the App Store

Overview

The Mouse and the Meadow is an engaging ebook app that will guide young children on a nature adventure through a meadow with a mouse’s eye view of the world.  The beautiful illustrations and rhythmic, rhyming text guide readers through a world of friendly and not-so-friendly creatures, filled with action and surprises, that will hold your child’s attention all the way through.

Features include:

  • Gorgeous illustrations
  • Animations on each screen
  • Optional narration
  • Accurate science concepts
  • Pleasant, soothing story with just the right amount of excitement to stay interesting

Quality

This is a lovely app that’s sure to please children from toddlerhood through early elementary school.  The illustrations are striking, and the text is fun to read and to listen to.  There is an optional narration, making it easy for the youngest children to enjoy on their own, or young readers can try it on their own when they are ready.  The story is engaging, with just the right amount of excitement to stay interesting but not frighten younger readers.

One small drawback, however, is that some of the text is very difficult to read due to contrast issues with the illustrations on a few pages.  For example, on the second page of the story with the spider’s web, the first parts of the last two lines are in black text on a background of dark green blades of grass.  On the third page (with the bee), the last stanza is in black print on a busy dark background of crushed plants.  These sorts of combinations would make reading the text very difficult for young readers or anyone with visual limitations.  Higher contrast on all text would be better.

Education

The Mouse and the Meadow has a lot of educational value for young children.  It’s wonderful to see a fiction story that is so realistic in terms of the science concepts presented.  The information is at just the right level to satisfy curious children, and it’s detailed enough that even children who have not experienced meadows first hand will be able to learn and enjoy.  One way to improve the education value would be to make call outs with optional narration for the difficult words, however.  There are a lot of words that are very high level vocabulary, which is a real plus, but if a child is using the book independently, there would be no way to explain any unknown words.  For example, words such as “pollinating” and “chrysalis” may be beyond some preschoolers and young elementary students who are reading on their own, and the text does not provide adequate context clues to deduce the meanings.

The narrated version of the text is outstanding.  The words highlight themselves as they are being voiced, and the timing is among the best I’ve seen.  The narration follows the text precisely, and the language is rich and full of higher-level vocabulary that will expand most children’s knowledge of words.  There is a lot of text on most pages, and the font size is slightly small for the complexity, but the narration option or having an adult read the story should alleviate any complications that might arise from that.

The explanatory pages about each animal and some of the other ideas in the book, located at the end of the story, are a very nice touch.  They provide additional information about each creature, and also help children separate fact from fiction by addressing questions such as “Do animals really talk?”

Entertainment

The Mouse and the Meadow is highly engaging and entertaining.  The story is paced at just the right rate to maintain interest, with exciting scenes nicely interwoven between more sedate and comforting scenes.  Each page has at least one and sometimes more animations triggered by touching animals or by shaking the device.  They are nicely connected with the storyline, rather than simply added on as window dressing with no connection to the text.  The animations are somewhat simplistic, though, such as the turtle’s head that slides out of his shell or the snake appearing and sliding forward.  Older children may expect a bit more than they get from the interactivity on this book.

Value

This app is a good value for the money.  Children will get an engaging story with interactivity as well as an opportunity to learn about the meadow habitat, which is a common topic in early elementary science programs.  The story is sure to become a favorite, and the illustrations are outstanding.

Child Friendliness

The Mouse and the Meadow is very child-friendly.  There are no outside advertisements, links to the internet or App Store, no social media or email connections.  There is no way that a child could accidentally access the internet from within this app.  The app would benefit from a Parents’ Area, though.  It could contain the information that is placed at the end of the book: the credits to authors, illustrators and developers and the mentions of other apps by the same group.  These pieces of information do not need to be a part of the book itself in this type of program, since young children aren’t really going to care or be able to read the notes.  Adults might want this info, and if it were in a Parents’ Area, they could still easily get access without tacking it onto the children’s content.

The Mouse and the Meadow is an engaging ebook app that will guide young children on a nature adventure through a meadow with a mouse’s eye view of the world. The beautiful illustrations and rhythmic, rhyming text guide readers through a world of friendly and not-so-friendly creatures, filled with action and surprises, that will hold your child’s attention all the way through.

Editor rating
Rated 4.5 stars