Hildegard Sings for iPad was adapted by One Hundred Robots from Thomas Wharton’s children’s book. Hildegard Rhineheffer is a hippo who loves to sing, almost as much as she loves to eat. Hildegard dreams of leaving her day job as a waitress behind to be a star on the operatic stage. When the time comes for Hildegard’s big break, will her voice let her down?
Hildegard Sings isn’t just a well-written tale of a big-boned hippo with even bigger dreams. The app is visually stunning. The interactivity that is built into nearly every page bolsters the visuals and serves to further the narrative, rather than competing with it.
Readers do not have to know anything about opera, or even like opera, to enjoy reading about Hildegard. A sense of humor, however, is a must. Although Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries (better known to many, including me, as “Kill the Wabbit“) plays throughout the story, opera is never called out of its high brow niche and paraded in front of the reader.
The interactive features are marked clearly on the screen, and are so much fun to use that they nearly steal the show from Hildegard! They are integral to the story, yet let the reader do much more than touch a character to elicit a sound.
The book can be read with the sounds and music on or off. It is also easy to turn off the narration at any time. Narrators Tracie Higgins and Craig Schumacher give spot-on performances that justify allowing your child to turn on the autoplay feature.
Emerging readers will enjoy reading Hildegard Sings on their own once they get the hang of pronouncing all of the names. Children ages 3 to 8 will likely enjoy listening to this book, which is available for download in the App Store for $1.99.
What I liked: The app is very well-designed. The developers considered everything, down to the smallest detail.
What I didn’t like: I try to bring a critical eye to every app I encounter, but there is nothing I would change about Hildegard Sings.
To buy or not to buy: The quality of the writing and illustration set Hildegard Sings apart from the pack of other ebooks for kids. At only $1.99, this app is a steal that kids and adults will enjoy reading and re-reading.
- App Name: Hildegard Sings
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: One Hundred Robots
- Price: $1.99