Learn About the Importance of Friendship in Trixie and Jinx, Written by Best Selling Author Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz is a prolific best selling author known for his suspense novels, but his pet golden retriever, Trixie, inspired him to write a children’s novel about the importance of friendship, called Trixie and Jinx.
The app opens with a great foreword from Koontz himself, introducing the app, telling his readers about his dog Trixie, and explaining the app’s features. Trixie, he says, is intelligent, joyful, and able to live in the moment – qualities that prompted him to write about her and her doggy best friend, Jinx.
In the story, which stars Trixie, Trixie and Jinx play together all the time, sniffing skunks, rolling in the grass, and playing video games when their owners are out of the house. One day, Jinx has to go on a trip for a week (a long time in dog years!), and Trixie is left all alone. She tries to find other friends, but no one can replace Jinx. Eventually, he comes back with plenty of stories to tell, and they go on being best friends.
This book, like many in the App Store, has three reading options. You can read it yourself, have the narrator read it to you, or select auto play, which will read it aloud and turn the pages automatically. This is a great mode for kids in the car or at the doctor’s office because it provides hands-fee entertainment.
The story is simple, making it perfect for young readers, and it has lovely watercolor illustrations. Touching on the words will re-read the words on the page, and touching on objects and characters will identify them. For example, touch on a picture of a volcano and the app will tell you it’s a volcano. This is great for learning both vocabulary and spelling, because the words are simultaneously displayed on the screen.
Navigation is standard, and swiping left or right will turn the pages forwards or backwards. There’s a main table of contents on the bottom of the page, and tapping the home button takes you to the beginning of the app at any time.
Trixie and Jinx is an endearing story, but this app really shines thanks to its personalization options. Children can use the customization button on the main page to make the story their own, by changing Jinx’s name to their own dog’s name, coloring each page, and recording the story in their own voice.
These features work well, and it’s easy to quickly create an entirely customized app. The coloring page is detailed and simple to use, with separate tools for the background and the foreground, zoom buttons, undo buttons, and plenty of colors. Recording works perfectly too, and hearing a personalized story is sure to delight both parents and children alike, every time the app is played.
In the extras section, children and their parents can learn about Dean Koontz and the real Trixie in an introductory video, a photo gallery, and a link to the Canine Companions website, which Trixie is a part of.
What I liked: The personalization options are great! With just a few taps, the story can be recorded in your own voice, using your dog’s name, and your customized pages. It’s a fun element that I haven’t seen in many children’s books.
What I didn’t like: I can’t quite pinpoint what I disliked about the narrator, but I didn’t think that the narration had enough personality. I would have preferred to have Koontz, who did the introduction, narrate the entire app.
To buy or not to buy: This isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for something with interactive elements on each page, but it is a great story if your kids will enjoy the personalization aspects. Trixie is an endearing character, and pet loving children will definitely like this book.
- App Name: Trixie and Jinx
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Auryn, Inc.
- Price: $3.99