Tree crickets ring like telephones high in the trees, and mole crickets call “dirt, dirt” from their tunnels in the ground, taking animal sounds far from the familiar moo and meow.
Accurately recorded insect sounds accompany the detailed illustrations and reveal the critters behind many familiar noises of summer. Where the 2013 printed book of the same name that this was taken from simply provided onomatopoeic spellings of each sound—“chirp,” “reeeeeeeeeee,” “squeaka”—this app gives kids the sonic specifics they hunger for, providing a value-added experience. Readers will enjoy identifying these bug songs in their own backyards. Kid-friendly, additional information about each species appears in a section called “Bug Sounds.” What budding lepidopterist won’t be excited to learn that tiger moths make ultrasonic squeaks to scare bats away or that insects use their bodies rather than vocal cords to make sounds? There’s one screen per bug, and on each one, there is a very cool, interactive sound wave graph and an explanation of each sound’s purpose. Given the high quality of the insect recordings, though, it’s too bad the narrator sounds like he recorded his track in a cave.
Though not exactly a traditional singalong, readers will nevertheless find themselves ch-ch-ch-ing like a katydid and perhaps even joining in with the “Concert of Sound” when all the bugs sing together. (iPad informational app. 3-8)