Each of us has something that makes us unique, be it our personality or our physical traits. Sometimes it takes time to know what that something is, but the effort always pays off. When you know what makes you special, you will be more accepting of yourself and thus, happier and more confident.
For this reason, I think it’s good to teach kids from an early age about what makes them special. They naturally get curious anyway — once they’ve reached a certain age, most kids will notice the differences or similarities between themselves and everyone else and start questioning.
Today, I have a storybook app that aims to inspire kids to discover their special gift. Called Milli: A Small Snail in a Big World, it follows the adventures of a curious little snail as she attempts to find out what is it that snails do best.
The only snail on Apple Tree Hill, Milli, wonders what is it that snails do. She is aware that she is curious and ever so slow, but she doesn’t quite understand what makes her, her. She befriends Miro, a ladybird (ladybug) who has lost one of his spots. The two agree to seek help from Wanda the Owl, the wisest creature on the Hill.
Following Wanda’s advice, Milli and Miro set off to learn more about who they are and what they’re good at. Along the way, they help out a couple of unique creatures: a stag beetle with majestic but dirty antlers and a chameleon who everyone runs into because he hides so well.
At the end of their encounters, Milli learns that being helpful is what she does best. Now content, she promises to continue helping Miro find his still-lost spot.
Milli: A Small Snail in a Big World is an original tale told in catchy, rhyming verses and through a series of hand-drawn landscapes. Each page is made more interesting with a number of interactive hotspots; tapping on the dandelions in one scene causes the seeds to fly away. In another scene, you can swipe the trees to rustle the leaves, and on Milli to see her inch her way across the page.
Interspersed throughout the story are three mini games in which you can help Milli and Miro solve various challenges. In the first game, you help Milli balance her makeshift antlers by tilting the device. In the second game, you help Leon Chameleon win a game of hide-and-seek with Milli and Miro. Finally, in the third game you help Milli and Miro repair Wanda’s broken glasses by putting the pieces together.
Parents Need to Know
Milli: A Small Snail in a Big World is suitable for kids ages three and up. The app, in English and German, allows non-readers to follow along by listening to the professionally-recorded narration. Conversely, you can turn off the narration for older children who prefer to read independently.
Safety-wise, there is nothing to worry about. The app is ad-free and contains neither in-app purchases or links to external sites. It is fully usable in Airplane mode.
Food for Thought
That their kids are special is something parents naturally think about, but sometimes the kids don’t always feel the same way about themselves. It’s important that we take the time to ask our kids what they think make them special. The last answer we want to hear is “I don’t know” or even worse, “nothing”, but if we catch them early we can still change their minds!
Things I Like
Milli: A Small Snail in a Big World features vibrant artwork made with watercolor and potato prints. Not only is it lovely to look at, it is also filled with interactive elements that keeps readers engaged. My favorite feature is the ability to swipe on the sky to see the day turn into night, but I also enjoy tilting the device to alter the world’s physics.
If you prefer book apps with audio narration, the app includes English and German voiceovers. The English narrator is terrific. Her reading is expressive, just like how a grandmother would read to grandchildren. The only fault I found was that the soundtrack would sometimes overpower the narration, and there was no way to turn it down.
As far as the story goes, I love how it conveys a positive message in a way that is easy for kids (and adults, really) to grasp. Milli herself is like a child, who is eager to learn about the world and how she fits in it, so it’s easy for young readers to relate to her troubles. I like how there are no antagonistic elements whatsoever — the characters are nice and helpful to each other.
An interactive, vibrant tale about self-discovery that is as interesting for grown-ups as it is for kids. Told in catchy rhymes and through beautiful, hand-drawn artwork, the story encourages kids to find out what they do really well. Recommended for ages three and up.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Honig Studios
Honig Studios is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated production company consisting of developers, designers, strategists, writers, digital producers and film producers working together to create innovative interactive experiences and intellectual properties. They have created and produced TV shows, web experiences, online shows, mobile experiences, games, interactive installations and visual identities. Regardless of the medium or genre, they are constantly looking for new and inventive ways to deliver creative material.
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Four Little Corners is a charming tale about friendship and equality, told in a creative way. The story itself is entertaining, and the characters are surprisingly endearing for a bunch of simple shapes. Great animation, music, and narration further add to the reading experience.