Title: Jazzy World Tour
Developer: The Melody Book
Compatibility: iPad / iPhone / iPod touch // iOS 5.1
Size: 115 MB
Description: Part of The Melody Book's "Jazzy" series, which includes separate apps on the alphabet, numbers, and more general music education, this latest app uses music as the hook into learning about basic music, instruments, and culture of various countries around the world. As of this writing, your child can (via the 2 kitten explorers) "visit" Brazil, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, Kenya, India, Japan, Australia, and the United States in the full-featured version. Each country's portion of the app lets the user tap on various objects and learn more about them via written text, "play" country-specific music (only the U.S. gets jazz) or make country-specific animals make noise, or create animated photos and videos which can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, or added to Photos in a manner similar to many video/photo sharing apps for kids.
The interactivity in the "learn" and "play" could be better -- there isn't much room for creativity in the play section. I wish there was an option to have the "learn" text read aloud, and your kids will probably have more fun just banging around on the drums or guitars in Garageband. But there's a nice selection of countries to explore and the app itself is laid out in a well-organized manner that should be intuitive even to preschoolers.
The move to in-app purchases on the App Store does mean that you can download the free version, purchase a $0.99 country and see if the full version is for you. The app isn't broad enough to be an atlas, or full-powered enough to be a creative engine, but if you're looking to start exposing your kids to other countries' sounds and culture, Jazzy World Tour may work for you.
Age Range: 4 through 8
Price: $4.99 / free w/ $0.99 per-country in-app purchase