Mama Mae: Mookey by Alicia Keys




Beautiful graphics, music, story send anti-bullying message.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Page turns and mini-games are responsive. The message and challenge of the mini-games are geared toward kids ages 6 to 8.

Violence & scariness

The bully in the story is cornered by an angry rhino. The rhino charges the tiger, who is OK but knocked down for a while.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

To unlock the full story you'll need to make an in-app purchase. A link to "play in Lee Lee's room" leads to the app store to download a free app that includes in-app purchases.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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 kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • reading
  • storytelling

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding


Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • persevering

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others
  • embracing differences

Engagement, Approach, Support


Gorgeous design incorporates beautiful, original music and breathtaking graphics. The complex story engages kids, and they'll be able to relate to some of the situations.

Learning Approach

Diverse characters tie two different stories together to send a beautiful social message about speaking up for those being bullied, apologizing for mistakes, and forgiving those who ask.


The story is read aloud with words highlighted so struggling readers can easily follow along. A few extension activities are available for additional purchase, and more are being added.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • reading
  • storytelling

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding


Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • persevering

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others
  • embracing differences

Kids can learn about accepting differences and speaking up for those who are bullied. They'll develop reading skills as they read and listen to the story, and they'll learn a bit about Indian culture, including the Holi Festival. They'll experience the literary device of a story within a story and play around with music and memory skills in the mini-game. Mama Mae: Mookey by Alicia Keys can lead to some valuable discussions and give kids the chance to share their own stories about bullying.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Kids say

Not yet rated
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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.

Families can talk about...

  • Have you ever felt like Lee Lee, where you wanted to stand up for a friend but were afraid people would laugh at you, too? What did you do? What would you do next time?

  • How can you help a kid who is being laughed at or made fun of?

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free ($1.99 in-app purchase unlocks full story)
Pricing structure:Free to Try
Release date:February 20, 2014
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
Size:150.00 MB
Publisher:Bento Box Interactive, LLC
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later

This review of Mama Mae: Mookey by Alicia Keys was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written byK schneider June 22, 2014

Beautiful & interesting

This is one of the most interesting apps I've seen for children to play with, learn with - they become engaged with it immediately and they don't want to put it down. The social-emotional values are addressed wonderfully, directly and yet not "in your face." Graphics and music are well-integrated. Nice job!
What other families should know
Easy to play/use


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