Every time I get a new storybook for Reina, be it from the Bookworm, Si’de Park or iTunes, I read it myself first. Though books are often rated for age appropriateness, I like to ensure the content is Reina appropriate. But when I picked out Mabel & Lulu: The Real Life Adventures, a story about the unlikely exploits of two adorable dogs, I was fairly confidant the content would be right up my dog-loving daughter’s alley. What I didn’t realize, even after reading it, was how doggone funny Reina would find the stories, illustrations, and animations. From the first page until the last she giggled through the entire first read and most of the second and third.
The first story is Mabel Has To Go! Essentially, the dogs are left in the car for a little longer than they or the owner intended and Mabel is in need of a place to do her business. If the actual outcome was remotely close to what happened in the storybook, Mabel is a talented dog (sorry, no spoilers). The second story is about the rambunctious Lulu and the trouble she gets into on vacation. I’ll just say that no bird, pool or airport, is safe from Lulu’s high jinx.
Hidden in the pages of the two stories are over 100 animations that will have any child tapping away on the screen to find them all; even I was pointing out the ones Reina missed. Although there are a lot of animated segments, some of which are truly just for the sheer joy of being silly, the animation does not detract from the stories.
Mabel & Lulu is the first of five storybooks envisioned by the author and founder of Apphaus Design Inc., Beth-Anne Quinn, who as full-time mom and dog owner was discouraged by the absence of quality educational storybook apps on offer for kids. Not satisfied with simply creating great educational reading material that holds children’s attention, she also set up her company so that a portion of the sales goes towards the funding of spay and neuter clinics. It’s one more thing that can make you feel good about purchasing such a great storybook app for a special child in your life. Seeing a kid rolling on the floor with laughter doesn’t hurt either.
Mabel & Lulu is currently available for $2.99 at the iTunes store and worth every penny.