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Review: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

After viewing this app, I’m ready for a nap. But wait, don’t misconstrue that statement! Read Wendy Woodfill’s review below and you’ll understand what I mean.

Title: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: The Experience
Jane Taylor
Michael Hague
Nicola Hern
FlyingWord, Inc.
iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, requires IOS 3.0 or later

Screen shot from FlyingWord's 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' (Taylor) illlustrated by Michael Hague

PreS-Looking for a soothing, quietly appealing app for preschoolers? Look no further than Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. The Jane Taylor song, originally published in 1806, was illustrated by Michael Hague and published by Wm. Morrow in 1992. As in the book, Hague’s highly detailed, Victorian-style illustrations are the highlight.

Two sleepy children dream that they are on a fantastical journey, where, surrounded by glistening stars, they encounter delicate fairies and enchanting mermaids. Gently guided back to their bedroom, the pair slumber peacefully. When shimmering 3D objects are tapped along the app adventure, they move across the screen to soft sound effects: stars tinkle, a dragon chuckles, and babies giggle.

Nicola Hern’s slightly accented narration is perfectly pitched; her reading is calm and unhurried. (The song is read rather than sung.) The text can be viewed at the bottom of the screen or turned off; background music may also be switched off and font-size options and a visual table of contents are available. At one point, children have the option of listening to the first stanza of the song sung in different languages. Selections include Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish, among others.

While the “3D” in the title doesn’t quite live up to expectations, and a typo exists in this version, the app will provide a cozy bedtime or naptime experience, both in home and in preschool settings.-Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library