Song for Miles

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
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Nice intro to soul music, but with limited interactivity.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Kids swipe the screen to turn pages, and can tap the Home button to return to the title screen. The swipe can be a little finicky. There are no interactive goodies to tap on, making this app more like a traditional book. Kids can toggle the music on or off.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

A page at the end of the story lists all of the songs mentioned in the text. Kids can tap on a song title to view the artist's discography in iTunes. There's also a link to the app's official website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Song for Miles is a story is about a father who uses his love of soul music to illustrate positive life lessons to his son Miles. Kids can follow along to narrated text, or turn it off and read out loud by themselves. One of the songs referenced, "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," encourages African-Americans in particular to be proud of their heritage, but children of all backgrounds can enjoy the story's inspirational messages.

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Is it any good?

Written by Dr. Tiffany Russell, with hand-painted illustrations by Raheli Scarborough, music by hip hop artist c'beyohn, and voice-over narration by radio personality Jamal Ahmad, SONG FOR MILES is more like a traditional book in the sense that there are no interactive elements on the screen for kids to tap. It's too bad that things like dancing instruments don't do anything when tapped, and that there is no way to interact with the text or repeat a page once the narrator reads it. It's a missed opportunity to take advantage of the platform.

The app makes a good jumping off point for kids to learn more about soul music and the artists featured in the app, who include Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Nina Simone. Parents can also reflect on the power that song lyrics have to communicate positive messages to children.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release date: June 1, 2011
  • Category: Books
  • Size: 61.00 MB
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
  • Last updated: June 2, 2020

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