A harmonious hippo gets her big break as an opera singer, but tragedy strikes when she loses her voice.
Hildegard Rhineheffer desperately wants to become an opera star, but she can only dream about it while she’s paying her dues (she works as a singing waitress and an opera-chorus member). On the day of a very special performance, Hildegard is asked to step in as the lead, but when she loses her voice, a very unconventional “gift” brings restoration. This iPad adaptation of Wharton’s 1991 tree-book sports the original illustrations, but they’ve been cleverly enhanced to provide a highly interactive reading experience. Among other things, readers can raise the stage curtain, feed Hildegard and throw rotten tomatoes or flowers at her. There’s also some tilt-action and a host of other inventive “pop-up” features that are sure to entice little fingers. Music abounds, from the hum of a tuning orchestra to the soprano’s soaring high note. There are multiple ways to hop from page to page or from story to “extras” without losing your place in the book, and there’s even an epilogue that reveals what a diva Hildegard has become, complete with a rundown of her starring roles.
A superb marriage of children's literature and digital technology, Hildegard's resurrected tale is an excellent way to introduce kids to the opera. Brava! (iPad storybook app. 3-8)