Lion & Mouse - Orchestra

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Lion & Mouse - Orchestra App Poster Image
Nonsensical narration negates cute story, activities.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can work on the spatial reasoning skills via tangrams and similar puzzles. They will also be able to think about kindness, keeping your word, and learning from mistakes.

Ease of Play

Poor narration makes the story confusing at times. Younger kids may need some help finding hidden instruments (or even knowing to look for them). 

Violence & Scariness

The lion is scary and mean just for the fun of it. Although he changes his ways and they all become friends, he never apologizes.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lion & Mouse - Orchestra is an interactive story app based on The Lion and the Mouse fable. There are no words on-screen, so it isn't quite an eBook, and the narration is stilted and sometimes nonsensical. The mini-games are best suited for early elementary school kids, although some preschoolers may enjoy them as well. The lion can be mean and scary and -- though he changes his behavior -- he doesn't apologize. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

LION & MOUSE - ORCHESTRA is a retelling of the classic fable, The Lion and the Mouse. In this version, the mouse has an accident on his scooter and accidentally startles the sleeping lion. The lion lets him go when he promises to come back and help if needed. Later, the lion is terrorizing other animals in the forest when he fells into a pit. The mouse comes to help, but needs to convince the other animals to pitch in. Lion & Mouse - Orchestra has plenty of hidden surprises, including enough instruments for all of the animals to play. There are also mini-games, such as tangrams, shape matching puzzles, and filling in missing numbers on a clock. These change as kid re-read the story, so they aren't completing the same puzzle each time. Once kids complete the story, they can access the tree house where the animals are ready for a concert. Kids will want to find all of the hidden instruments throughout so all of the animals can participate in the concert. 

Is it any good?

If you turn the volume off and allow kids to follow the story with their imagination, this is a lovely and interactive story that kids will enjoy. Lion & Mouse - Orchestra has pretty illustrations, plenty of interactive points, a story with a reasonably positive message, puzzles that change each time, and a musical reward at the end. It has almost all the makings of a great app. But the narration, presumably the result of an awful translation, is painful to listen to. It's stilted and awkward and often makes little sense. For example, "Wow... there was a... BAD scooter! Could it be fixed?" And as the lion is about to fall into the hole, "The lion felt interesting to be a monkey. He was so proud of it. Do not walk backward!" There are some other minor complaints, namely that young kids may not quite get what they are supposed to do with the puzzles and the orchestra since they are never told to look for instruments (and some of them aren't technically instruments to begin with). The story is short, but the fact that the mini-games can be replayed (there are numerous tangram puzzles, for example) and the orchestra is fun to dabble with, raises the value for enjoying over time. If only they would re-record the narration and add some guidance, Lion & Mouse - Orchestra would be a really strong app choice. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about apologizing. In Lion & Mouse - Orchestra how did the mouse behave when he woke the lion? How did the lion behave when he was mean to the other animals? Did his behavior change when they helped him? What can you do if you hurt someone else's feelings?

  • Talk about tangrams: What are they and how do they work? Make your own tangrams by drawing or downloading and printing some (or try My First Tangrams HD). What kinds of shapes can you make with your tangrams?

App details

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