Title: Hello, Baby Animals!
Developer: Shortstack Apps
Compatibility: iPad // iOS 4.3
Size: 58.3 MB
Description: Although most of my reviews of iOS apps have some music-related function, I'm willing to make an exception for well-designed, smart-looking apps for other kid-related purposes. Hello, Baby Animals!, the latest app from the indie app developer Shortstack (led by founder Carolyn Merriman), fit that bill for me.
My chief initial interest in exploring the app was the fact that Austin-based illustrator and author Divya Srinivasan animated the app. From a kindie perspective, you'll probably recognize Srinivasan's style as she's animated several videos for They Might Be Giants' kids music albums.
The app itself lends itself well to Srinivasan's eager-eyed, brightly-colored style. It features 10 different baby animals, each on its own screen and given a simple interactive role. In the case of the piglet above, the user can swap wigs for the pig; other screens include matching mittens for a kitten and having a baby fox (a "kit," as the app points out) his socks. The user can choose to have an adult voice or child voice narrative the rhymes on each page, or turn it off.
This is a simple app, but it's well-designed, smart-looking (see above), and is perfectly targeted to, and constructed for, the preschool/kindergarten set. I really liked it, and think it's worth the $2.99 (it would be worth more than that if it had simply been turned into a book), but if you're not sure, there's a free version with four of the full version's ten screens. Lots of fun, and worth checking out.
Age Range: 2 through 5
Price: $2.99 / free (lite version)
Note: I was offered a copy of the app for possible review.