Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Alicia Keys and Jessica Walton have teamed up with Bento Box Interactive to develop a series of storytelling app experiences for tablets and other mobile devices under The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee franchise. The apps engage kids ages 4 and up on an interactive journey through stories, journaling, games, and original music scored by Keys.
Mama Mae, voiced by Della Reese, is a grandmother who guides her granddaughter LeeLee through each vibrantly illustrated story. Through the strength of her personality, Mama Mae and her stories inspire and enlighten kids of all ages. The important and special bond between grandparents and their little loved ones is emphasized in this family-oriented app.
Mookey is the newest installment in the Mama Mae series, and this particular story touches on self-acceptance and bullying in a meaningful way. When LeeLee is distressed because she doesn’t know how to stand up for a girl who is being picked on at school, Mama Mae tells her the story of Bali, an imaginative boy, his not-so-imaginary-friend Mookey, and his pushy cousin Ankita. Set in the jungles of India, Mookey features an alluring soundscape, magical sets, and a story that appeals to both girls and boys. As they follow along, children will learn about courage, acceptance, and forgiveness in the face of bullying.
The app is subtly interactive with multiple touch points. The scenery itself is visually gripping, but kids can touch to make Bali dance, scratch behind Mookey’s ears, and more. As Mama Mae tells the story, kids can follow along and read the words at the top of the screen. Every so often, the story stops so kids can play a fun game that goes along with Mama Mae’s tale—which is great for keeping them engaged. And, of course, the story ends with a beautiful original song, and shows LeeLee putting the lesson Mama Mae taught her into action.
Mookey is available on the Apple App Store as a free-to-play download for iOS devices, but you’ll need to purchase the full version to hear the entire story for $1.99 via an in-app purchase. We tested this app on an Apple iPad Air.