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Auryn Article - Trixie and Jinx: Interactive Storybook App

Jun 08, 2012

Apps4Moms - June 8, 2012

Who’s your child’s best friend? Has your child ever had to be separated from his or her best friend? It’s a hard sitution that many kids have to go through, and the storybook app Trixie and Jinx, captures those feelings in quite a uniqe way; through the voice of a dog named Trixie.

You may already be a fan of the Trixie book series by Dean Koontz, or may have read my review of the I, Trixie, Who Is Dog app. If so, then you’ll want to add this great app by Auryn, Inc., to your collection, and if not, you’ll want to start collecting.

This app is based on the book Trixie and Jinx by Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, and is illustrated by Janet Cleland. Trixie, the golden retriever, is best friends with Jinx the weiner dog, who is the only other dog in the neighborhood. Trixie learns that Jinx is going away for a week this summer on vacation with his family, and is heart-broken that she’ll have to be away from her friend that long (with kids and dogs, a week seems like forever!). Trixie tries meeting and playing with new friends on her street, like a spider, but “things that eat flies have no humor at all”, and the spider and other animals in the neighborhood just can’t replace the precious and priceless friendship she has with Jinx.

Trixie and Jinx is available for the iPad at $3.99, and is recommended for children ages 2 and up. There is also the Lite version you can try out for free.

Trixe and Jinx offers lots of features to keep the fun of the book going, long after you’ve read all the pages. Access the Personalization page on the home screen to edit the pages of the entire book. Personalize the story by coloring-in Trixie in each scene, by painting with your fingers. You can also record your own voice reading the story aloud, so your child can listen even when you are not there. This app also offers the ability to edit the words or create new action words, focus on unfamiliar words to build vocabulary, and change Jinx’s name in the story to your own dog’s name.

There are three ways to read Trixie and Jinx:

Read to Me: Follow along as Trixie reads the story aloud, and each word is highlighted when spoken. When the narration is complete, your child can interact with the page by tapping on objects to see and hear the word. When your child is done interacting with a page, he or she may turn the page by swiping a finger across the screen.

Read Myself: No narration is spoken, so big kids can read on their own, or listen to the story read aloud by a parent. Kids can still interact with each page by tapping on objects, and also tap on words in the text of the story to hear the word spoken; great if he or she gets stuck.

Autoplay: This option is the same as “Read to Me” except that the pages will turn automatically. This is an excellent feature for your little one to enjoy the story on their own, while in the car or when you’re doing chores around the house.

Be sure to also check out the Extras section, in Trixie and Jinx. Watch video introductions, where your child can meet the author and the real Trixie, review a tutorial of how to navigate and use all the features available in the app, view a photo gallery of the real Trixie dog, and learn more about Canine Companions for Independence, a program that provides trained dog assistance for children and adults with disabilities.

I love the sound effects in the background of the story to help bring it to life, and how when you tap and interact with objects on the screen, they boggle and display the word as it is read aloud, helping to reinforce word association and spelling. I also enjoy how well the narrator delivers the voice to the infamous Trixie.

Trixie and Jinx wonderfully brings to life Dean Koontz’s beloved storybooks, by transforming a very humanly relatable story, through the point of view of a dog you just can’t help but love, and shines the book even further by offering great interactive and educational features.

Disclosure: The author does not receive compensation for writing this app review. The photos used were taken as screen shots from author's iPhone or iPad. Views expressed in this review are purely and only those of the author. Pricing was accurate at the time of this review.