Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is an interactive encyclopedia of plants and animals that children can explore on a mobile device or online. In four different environments, users travel through a beautifully illustrated woodland, underwater, and underground world with their guide, Little Mouse, exploring and learning about things found in nature. The encyclopedia costs $4.99.
The design of Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is so enticing; the illustrations remind me a bit of vintage botanical drawings, yet the soft, colored pencil aesthetic doesn’t come off as old-fashioned. Instead of a typical illustrated encyclopedia, which features images alongside text in a linear way, Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia puts the user on a quest to discover each entry by having them traverse underground tunnels, climb ladders, and swim through ponds. Bringing your magnifying glass to any creature or plant you encounter opens an entry describing what you’ve discovered and some interesting facts about it.
Not only does the encyclopedia encourage exploratory learning in a beautiful environment, there’s an impressive amount to discover. Whether the user is interested in insects or underwater creatures, there are living things everywhere to observe, interact with, and learn about. I easily spent a couple hours moseying through Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia and I know there was content I didn’t even encounter.
Though I love the exploratory nature of Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia, it would be nice to have a larger navigational map or list of plants and animals to refer back to. I found myself wanting to revisit certain species and not knowing exactly how to find them again. Having a comprehensive resource would make it easier to actually use the encyclopedia as a practical reference.
The written entries accompanying the illustrations are not dense (in fact, I really appreciated how concise they were), but they did often use complicated, high-level vocabulary. While slightly older users will appreciate this, it is good to note that younger users might require the assistance of an adult to take full advantage of Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia.
Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is a beautiful and fun resource for any kid interested in learning about the world around them or the inner workings of nature more generally. While it’s not as searchable as most encyclopedias, its value of creativity and exploration definitely make it worth purchasing.Image: by Melanie Hering