Title: Wonder Wheel
Compatibility: iPad // iOS 5.1
Size: 88 MB
Description: Another month, another Mibblio app. This one features Dan Zanes' popular song "Wonder Wheel" from his 2001 album Family Dance. The basic structure of the app is the same as with the other Mibblio apps -- the song plays while the user can add or remove different tracks (e.g., guitar, percussion, keyboards) from the recorded song while simultaneously being able to play melody and stringed/guitar instruments in harmonically compatible keys, not to mention percussion. It basically lets kids (and adults) play along in ways that allow some creativity but also help make whatever comes out sonically sound decently. (You can also pinch out to expand it to full screen if you just want to read and sing along.) I'll admit that it feels a bit odd to use "fake" iPad instruments to play along with a DZ song...
In addition, the songs are accompanied by illustrations that feature lyrics to those songs. The result is a musical picture book over which the user has some small control. In the case of this app, the illustrator is Aldo Saaf AKA Donald Saaf, who's illustrated a number of Zanes' albums and books. Maybe it's just because I've so long associated Saaf's illustrations with Zanes' music, but I can't picture anyone else doing the illustrations for this. If you're familiar at all with Zanes' music, the illustrations will feel very familiar.
The price for the app, $0.99, is pretty cheap, though you're probably paying for just the app because you already have the song. (I couldn't find the song available through the main Mibblio app.) Another song converted well into an app by Mibblio -- families with younger DZ fans may find it worth the $0.99 to try it out...
Age Range: 3 through 7
Note: I was provided a copy of this app for possible review.