Version Reviewed: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
The Animal Alphabet Singers, as the name may imply, is an app for babies and toddlers that helps them learn the alphabet as well as animals associated with these letters. This app includes sections that allow children to explore the alphabet in many ways. One section of this app, also named The Animal Alphabet Singers includes a group of 26 animals - each of which can each be tapped to hear the corresponding letter to be sung, with the letter also being highlighted below for a nice effect. Do tap on a letter as well because doing so will trigger singing from the related animal.
In the Meet the Letters section, one can also tap letter tiles for the name of each letter to be spoken, with these tiles then turned over to see and hear an illustrated animal image. I enjoy how these tiles remain with the animal side facing out until re-tapped to be flipped back into the letter position. In Meet The Animals, children get to know these creatures further as one can scroll through each letter, and with a tap an animated moment will be triggered as the animals introduce themselves and the letter that they start with. A second tap introduces children to these animals’ habitats, complete with narration that includes some interesting facts about each creature. Guess The Letters tests children’s knowledge, asking them to match a letter to the name of an animal shown or, inversely, to match an animal picture to a letter offered.
I am smitten by how human-like these animals sound; each with its own personality that comes through as very distinct voices are used for each of these creatures. From gruff but lovable personalities to more demure-sounding ladies' voices, they go a long way in creating characters for each of these subjects. Likewise, I am quite fond of the animated scene seen during Meet The Animals and after each correct answer in the Guess The Letters game - charming ways to encourage children to keep playing. It is worth noting that the creators of The Animal Alphabet Singers are associated with such famed children’s shows as Sesame Street, Between the Lions, and more. Their combined talents have made this app a very special standout in a sea of other alphabet apps. The illustrations and animated scenes are bright, colorful, and interestingly stylized. Both the narration and animal voices are top-notch, bringing some witty moments that will keep adults' attention as well as their children's - always important as families will be spending some time teaching letters to their children.
It is also fun that a scrolling banner of animals is included at the top of the menu page of this app. I like how animals from this area may make their personal noises when children are taking a moment to choose a new section, but these sound effects can also come across as jarring to the youngest family members. Likewise, the narration announcing that she “is waiting...” or asking the player, “Is this going to take all day?” is a little on the obnoxious side; especially if children have simply turned to ask their parent a question about what they have learned. Because of this, I wish these additional sound effects could be silenced as an option - just a thought.