Juno and little brother Rai Rai travel to make-believe musical land Harmonia Springs, where they learn about music and how to appreciate it.
Before her arrival in the app world, Juno's creator, Belinda Takahashi, had already won an Emmy (2007) for her DVD series Juno Baby. Much like her video fare, this interactive iPad app aims to help children understand musical terms and basic concepts, including melody, harmony and rhythm. The app is quite ambitious, as it combines games, video, songs and puppetry to both form and enhance the story line. Readers move Juno and Rai Rai through the story using reappearing arrows; sometimes the siblings land on a static page (where characters bob affably while successive text boxes appear), while on others they simply direct readers to games or video segments. A “chapter” menu makes it easy to navigate the various elements of the story, and with the exception of one 15-second load time and a couple of crashes, functionality is swell. The games are clever and effective in teaching concepts, and the boy-band and beatbox nods are sure to elicit grins from kids and parents alike.The individual components of this app are clearly above average, but presented as a whole they seem a bit overwhelming, particularly for younger readers; it’s hard not to think that less could’ve been more. Still, it’s a brilliant concept and quite well done. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)