March 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

This Is “Me” | Touch and Go

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Tinybop’s Me was the first app that the designer and illustrator Ana Seixas worked on. While she confessed to feeling somewhat overwhelmed initially, she states, “When I finally saw the ‘big picture,’ it was amazing: the infinite possibilities made me realize that this was a unique project.” Learn more about the artist’s work and inspirations and the decisions that went into creating Me.

Screen from Me (Tinybop)

Screen from Me (Tinybop) Ana Seixas

Me (Tinybop, iOS, $2.99; K-Gr 2) clearly illustrates to children that what they think, feel, and experience contribute to making them who they are. On opening the app, users create an avatar. Myriad skin tones, hair colors and textures, and accessories, including religious head wear, are available–so many options that any child may accurately represent themselves.

After viewers enter a name and a favorite color (for the background), an avatar appears. Floating above that image are bubbles containing questions or prompts. The bubbles contain icons that indicate whether the question/prompt should be responded to with a drawing, text, a photo, or a recording. Children may add additional avatars for friends and family. Sample questions/prompts include, “I would like to live here when I’m older,” “This is my hero,” and “If I had a band we would play this song.”

The app contains hundreds of questions and prompts to respond to. In addition to soliciting information and preferences, emotions are explored. Users may choose to enter artistically designated areas to respond to questions/prompts about being angry, sad, or happy.  A few of them may make users feel uncomfortable, such as one that asks them to reveal a secret, or another that asks users to respond to “When I do this my parents feel disgusted”—both of which require a written answer. “This is my enemy” requires a verbal response. However, children can choose to skip any of the questions and/or keep their responses private. The app is available in 60 languages; a trailer offers a sneak peek. VERDICT An excellent opportunity for self-exploration delivered with artistic appeal.—Cindy Wall, Southington (CT) Public Library


Screen from Me (Tinybop) Ana Seixas

Screen from Me (Tinybop) Ana Seixas

Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.

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