A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mama Mae: Mookey by Alicia Keys includes four pages of a 22-page interactive book. The rest must be unlocked with an in-app purchase of $1.99. It's a complex story with an anti-bulllying message teaching kids to accept differences, stand up for those being bullied, and forgive those who regret their bullying mistakes that is best suited to elementary-aged kids. There's a scary scene where a realistic looking rhinoceros chases a girl up a tree and charges a tiger. There's quite a bit of laughing at a couple of kids for being different, but no direct name-calling, and the message that it's wrong to laugh at someone who is different is clear.
What's it about?
Lee Lee (obviously a young Alicia Keys since she has a Grammy on her bedroom bookshelf) is concerned that she didn't do the right thing at lunch when she didn't stand up for her friend who was being laughed at. Mama Mae relates to Lee Lee the story of Bali, a little boy in India, who is misunderstood and bullied by his cousin Ankita. Bali's best friend is Mookey, a tiger who other kids assume is an imaginary friend, which just fuels their teasing. When the village is preparing for the celebration of Holi, Ankita is cornered by a charging rhino. Bali and Mookey save Ankita, almost sacrificing themselves. Ankita realizes how mean she's been and apologizes for being a bully and never makes fun of him again. Lee Lee is inspired by Bali's story (and Alicia Keys shares an original song) and stands up for the girl being bullied at her school, having lots of fun with her new friend. Mama Mae explains, "It's our differences that make us so unique and special." Interspersed within the story-within-a-story are a couple of mini-games where kids match notes on the Pungi -- an Indian instrument -- and throw colors as part of the Holi festival.
Is it any good?
MAMA MAE: MOOKEY is Hollywood production caliber -- from the original Alicia Keys music to the amazing, realistic graphics and touching story. It even includes several seconds of studio credits at the beginning that kids will be less than thrilled to sit through. It's worth the wait, though. Professional voice talents (including Della Reese as Mama Mae) enhance the beautiful graphics. The mini-games are fun and varied -- one giving kids a chance to put their memory to the test, and the other letting them have some creative colorful fun. The story's positive message of standing up for friends and forgiving those who have wronged us is underscored by the inspiring cultural diversity. Mama Mae: Mookey by Alicia Keys is more of an interactive short blockbuster movie than just an interactive book.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, storytelling
Social Studies: cultural understanding
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, persevering
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, respect for others
- Price: Free ($1.99 in-app purchase unlocks full story)
- Pricing structure: Free to try (The app is free to download; an in-app purchase unlocks the full story.)
- Release date: February 20, 2014
- Category: Books
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Size: 150.00 MB
- Publisher: Bento Box Interactive, LLC
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later
- Last updated: August 16, 2016
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.