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HEIDI PART II by Johanna Spyri


by Johanna Spyri & illustrated by Diana Kizlauskas & developed by JustKidsApps

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: June 24th, 2011
Publisher: JustKidsApps

A pedestrian adaptation of the classic delivers little transcendence, but it does make for a comfortable introduction for younger readers.

This dual-language elementary adaptation of Heidi can be read in English or German (readers can choose between Swiss dialect or standard German). Sentence structure and vocabulary are too complicated for very early readers, so it is better suited for more confident readers and young foreign language students. A heavily abridged version of the original novel, the story is broken up into three individual apps, which must be purchased separately. With a background in advertising, religious art and children's illustrations, artist Kizlauskas captures the Swiss geography in bright colors. The developers make little use of available technology, providing just enough interactivity to enhance the story for younger kids who are being read to but not too much to distract older kids from their reading. As Heidi's aunt Dete takes her to live with her grumpy grandfather high in the Swiss Alps, readers can touch animals or objects to hear them make sounds and people to hear them speak. No bookmarks or page choices are provided, which proves to be an inconvenience, since the story is not divided into chapters.

Despite aunt Dete's infernal meddling (she drags poor Hieidi to Frankfurt in the second installment; the third is not yet available), this oh-so-slightly saccharine tale delivers a reliably upbeat outcome for readers who enjoy a nice old-fashioned story. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)