The Mighty League is Geek Club Books and Blackfish Children’s Book latest storybook app release and we love the message it sends! The back story to how the The Mighty League came about is very inspirational, and we had a chance to interview Jodi Murphy, who created Geek Club Books, to encourage children to see what makes them special. Her son, Jonathan, has Asperger’s but doesn’t let anything stop him from realizing his dreams. He is very active in theater and does voiceover work. But the journey to get to this point was a long one and one that Jodi shares on her website. I love how the whole family got involved in this project as her daughter, Molly Murphy, wrote the story and Jonathan does some of the voiceovers.
The story opens up and we are told that only one brave soul dares to keep watch over the neighborhood. He jumps out of bed, grab his red cape and looks outside his bedroom window, on the lookout for any crime fighting he might have to do. His sidekick, Mr. Reginald T. Hedgehog, is part of The Mighty League of crime fighting heroes and “sniff the stink of crime from miles away.” When you touch his nose, it sniffs and moves – cute!
Blackfish Children’s Books is one of the few developers that allows users to customize their experience. At the beginning of the story, we have the option to choose our Hero (JMan as a boy or Jaycee as a girl), Record Narration, Clear the Narration, and even adjust the music, sound volume and narration volume. Another point I really enjoyed in this story is when you touch Mr. Reginald T. Hedgehog, a journal of JMan’s thoughts and feelings pop up and we can read what it is like for him in day to day life. His outlook is in fact, similar to what a child with Asperger’s might feel and think, so it might help them to vocalize what they are thinking through Jman. For example, he talks about his sensitivity to taste and that food has to be prepared the same way every time. And he has to take the same number of bites at each meal. These are things that your own child might experience, so it is wonderful that they can share this with this character – who demonstrates that it is okay to feel this way – that you are special just being you. At any time you can click out of the journal and get back to the story.
Another creative aspect of the story is that it is set up like a comic book – he is a superhero after all! When you touch the blinking exclamation point, the characters will talk. The animations are simple but add to the story. Like the time Jman and Hedgehog walk up to a group of kids in a line waiting for the bus. The long line of kids are pushing each other and giggling. This makes JMan nervous as he explains that he likes order and it upsets him when others don’t follow the rules, but he has learned that at times you don’t have to worry about it.” He goes on to explain that what they are doing – joking around and pulling pranks on each other pose no danger to him and so he is able to stay calm.
This advice from JMan can be found throughout. This is one of my favorite storybook apps I have reviewed for several reasons. The message it sends – that each of us are special in our own way – is a very powerful one and you can never tell kids that enough! Also, the journal is really beneficial for parents to use to show their kids that other people feel awkward at times, nervous, etc., but with certain tools that JMan explains that have helped him – they are able to get through these situations. Like the time that a bully at school realized that JMan didn’t like to be touched. The bully thought it was funny to run up, touch him and run away. JMan decided to tell his teacher, who in turn called him mom and they explained to him that he didn’t do anything wrong. This made JMan feel good that his parents were proud of him for speaking up and telling them what was bothering him. So many powerful messages and advice are found with The Mighty League app!
This is a wonderful story and great addition to your app library.
We will be having a Geek Club Facebook Party on September 10th starting at 5:30 pm PST where we will have a chance to speak to Jodi Murphy about her inspiration, Jonathan, and what she hopes parents, educators and children gain from The Mighty League. To find out more about our Facebook Party go here: http://dandelionmoms.com/2013/08/geek-club-books-facebook-party-september-10th/
Blackfish Children’s Books: http://www.customizabooks.com/terribletaunting
To read more about this inspirational mom go to: http://dandelionmoms.com/2013/04/inspirational-mom-jodi-murphy-of-geek-club-books/