A Word’s a Bird, Spring Flies By In Rhymes by French developer Syntonie, the publishing imprint of Actialuna, SAS, brings Caldecott Award-quality to the iPad. The app includes sections for April, May, and June, as well as a “take off” poem that introduces the poetry collections’ shared theme. To visit the poem for each month from the splash screen simply tap on the square with the month’s name. After doing so the reader encounters the poem for the given month as well as an accompanying animation.
The four poems, which the reader can enjoy in English or French, remain accessible to children even while employing poetic techniques including meter, rhyme, and metaphor. The book’s text offers parents an opportunity to introduce the idea of poetry to their children by asking questions such as, “how can a bird be like a word?”
The Northern Cardinal, loved by birders everywhere for his bright red plumage and cheerful song, guides the reader through the animation. Tap him and hear him sing an accurate rendition of his songs. The reader can also tap the underlined words in each poem to access a glossary of terms such as “veil” or “zigzag” that may not be familiar to the reader.
Each of the three months includes an interactive animated scene for the reader to explore. In April the reader can tap on flowers to play a simple scale, then hear the notes she plays repeated back by the ducklings in the pond, while in May she can explore peony blooms, and in June she can steer a sailboat helmed by a pair of dogs.
A Word’s A Bird includes no in-app purchases, adverts, or social media links. The app includes professional narration and word highlighting. Touch the Syntonie Publishing icon on the splash screen to watch a video on how this charming digital book was created. In summary, A Word’s A Bird offers its reader child-friendly, seasonal poetry that fills a gap in the type of offerings typically found in the App Store. From toddlers to tweens, this singular digi-book will appeal a wide variety of children.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TheiMums.com on June 20, 2013. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews.
The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America. At less than a year old, the Australian-based blog already boasts hundreds of reviews on family friendly iOS and MacOS apps and products.
Guest writer, Emily Becker, is a US-based freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. Follow her on Twitter: @whatwentwrite. She also writes for PadGadget.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Orel Protopopescu/Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie
Syntonie & Actialuna
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9 +
English • French •
From iTunes: A Word’s a Bird, Spring Flies By In Rhymes is a poetry app that enchants children and adults, uniquely fusing hundreds of hand-painted watercolors with digital technology.
In this spring bouquet of 3 animated and interactive poems, plus a title poem, nature blooms in words and pictures:
◆ compose a melody on the flowering shoots of April and watch the ducklings sing it back to you
◆ open the peonies that bloom in May and discover surprises inside
◆ put wind in the sail of the June honeymoon boat as it carries a young couple across a pond
◆ touch the red cardinal that flies through these scenes and hear him sing!
Even the youngest readers and listeners will understand the rhymed metaphors. They will see, by playing with the pictures, how a flower can make a comfortable room for a bee or a flowering shoot becomes a flute.