App Review: Twinkle Twinkle
Twinkle Twinkle is an app based on the song “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” It includes animated videos of the song (sung by either an adult or a child), an interactive story, and a simple counting game. The story tells of a friendship between a little owl and a star.
This is a sweet song and story combo that’s ideal for young kids, and could be used as a bedtime story or song. The story takes the animation from the videos and adds very simple and subtle interactive elements, e.g. touch the owl and he blinks or flaps his wings; touch the star and it twinkles. The reader navigates through the story with right and left arrow buttons. There’s a home button in the upper left corner, but it can be hard to see on certain pages of the story. The counting game is also very simple – 20 stars appear on the screen and as the child touches each one, it spins, lights up and counts off. There is no way to change the number of stars that appear or change settings to make the game more challenging.
It’s a good introductory app for kids who might get overwhelmed by flashier interactive elements. The focus here is on the song and story so it’s more of a direct analog to a tree book than some other ebook apps, but can help children learn about interactive elements in a very easy and low-key way. I found after a few times through the story my son started ignoring the interactive elements and just clicked through to get to the song, which is his favorite part.
One other minor point of confusion: the animation in the videos and the story is the same, but the story is interactive and the videos are not. The first couple of times watching the video, my son kept touching the owl and the star expecting the same reactions as he saw in the story. Instead, touching the screen brought up the controls for the video player. It took a couple of turns through the app before he figured it out and stopped trying to interact with the videos.
If you want a free preview, check out the Youtube video: