Beautifully told and enjoyable!
This combo app contains 3 single apps within, namely ‘Heidi on the alp’, ‘Heidi in Frankfurt’ and ‘Heidi and Klara’. JustKidsApps has recently completely updated its Heidi apps and while doing so, have also created Heidi Story Collection – an app that combines all three Heidi books in one.
Starting with the illustrations, as they are the only feature preserved from the original release – they are really lovely, the colors and features are gentle and not too vibrant, which suits the feel of the stories. They are just right. This helps in drawing the younger readers to the story in a personal way. The child narrating the story from Heidi’s perspective (English version) has a lovely sounding, professional voice and charming English dialect. She does a beautiful job of reading the story in a way that flows nicely and is easily followed and understood.
The version for more advanced readers is told in second person by an adult female narrator. It also sounds pleasant and professional and is easily understood. In the version for younger children, a scrolling bar moves along the page to highlight the spoken text. While many readers appreciate this feature, the scrolling bar moves a bit fast and it can be found a little distracting. It is often helpful for young readers to have a placeholder to follow along more easily, but I think I would prefer having the text itself change color or highlight a whole line at a time. Or, perhaps there could be an option to turn the scrolling highlight bar off in settings the way the music does.
Extra games etc. to explore are really well thought out and the educational aspect of it for older children to explore is also appreciable. There are two versions, a regular and an advanced reader option. Children will absolutely love the version that has Heidi telling the story with an adorable accent. This easier version has less text on the page and the text is highlighted as the story is read whereas the other version has more text and no highlighting. The story is very much the traditional story of Heidi.
There is a “Bits and Bobs” section that offers some additional information and activities including goat/sheep facts, jokes, quiz for comprehension, facts about The Heidi Village in Switzerland and facts about Alpine Flowers. These can be helpful in increasing your child’s general knowledge.
There is also a section for parents providing information such as when you re-open the app the story will resume at the page you were last reading and more. The story contains hidden sounds which can be heard on tapping on the people and animals and when characters speak and there is a blue sparkly dot that appears above each character to indicate the order in which they speak. The additional content, quizzes and fun facts provide wonderful background information and really nice educational opportunities for children and adults to share together.
Heidi Story Collection is an excellent value and a wonderful choice for both home and in the classroom. Having the story told by Heidi in first person is a brilliant choice for younger readers.