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Auryn Article - ‘Trixie and Jinx’ by Dean Koontz

Jun 15, 2012

School Library Journal Review: ‘Trixie and Jinx’ by Dean Koontz - Posted by Daryl Grabarek on June 15th, 2012

Trixie and Jinx is the second story in a series of three by Dean Koontz, best known for the horror stories he’s written for adults. The first title, I, Trixie, Who is Dog, was reviewed here earlier this year. There’s no trailer for for Trixie and Jinx, but a “lite” version is available for free.

Title: Trixie and Jinx
Author: Dean Koontz
Illustrator: Janet Cleland
Published by: Putnam, 2010
Developed by: Auryn, Inc.
Platform: iOS, requires 4.3 or later
Version: 1.0.0
Price: $3.99

PreS-Gr 1-In this follow-up to I, Trixie, Who Is Dog (Putnam, 2009), golden retriever Trixie is forlorn when her best pal, Jinx, an adventurous dachshund, goes on a seaside vacation with his family. Young readers will empathize with Trixie’s struggle to cope with her companion’s absence, despite some clunky text (“I, Trixie, am having fun summer.”) and an uninspired narration. Janet Cleland’s cheerful watercolor illustrations and the app’s pleasing sound effects enhance the story.

The first time the app is launched, it opens with a video of Koontz sharing his inspiration for the story and introducing the app’s features. Users can experience the story in three modes: the full-featured “Read to Me,” with audio and interactive components; “Read Myself,” which is silent (though users can tap on words to hear pronunciations if they need help); and “Auto Play,” which has audio, but requires no interaction.

The app is easy to use, with straightforward navigation. Viewers can touch the illustrations to see and hear the words for items pictured. Extras include a slideshow of the real Trixie as well as personalization options.

Children will delight in putting their own special touches on this app. They can color the story’s pages and record their own narration of the text. Recording a personalized voiceover is simple and fun; users records small bits of text at a time, and can re-record until they’re satisfied. Children can also personalize the story by giving Trixie’s best friend a new name, although that might detract from the rhyme scheme.While not a standout, Trixie and Jinx is a pleasant addition to a child’s app library. Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA