Our Overall rating: 4.25
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January 2, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Hiku is a truly adorable little penguin who stars on every page of this book with his cute 'heart-shaped' tummy. The interactivity in this book is fun for kids, since it involves trying to find Hiku among the other similar looking penguins. If the child taps on the wrong part of the page, they hear variations on "colder - warmer" as they get closer to Hiku and "Alright!" or "There's Hiku!" or "That's Terrific!" when they tap on Hiku correctly.

The only gripe I have with this otherwise delightful way of engaging my child with the story is that touching the page during the audio narration causes it to stop abruptly, which is annoying, to say the least. So, it's best to either let the audio finish on each page before trying to find little Hiku (which works fine with older, more patient kids I assume) or to skip the narration entirely and read it aloud to the child while letting them touch the screen as much as they want.

You also can't turn off the auto-play on the narration, but maybe they will catch this on the next update? The story of Hiku's family teasing him about his cute tummy and unusual name is very endearing as he finally realizes how much fun it is being part of such a big family that adores him.

Ultimately, it's this delightful story that makes the difficulties with the audio worth the trouble. The book also has the dual offering of being a coloring book on every page, and allowing your own paintings & audio narration to be saved and used when watching/listening to the book. All the Q-books also feature "Swipe-to-read, Touch-to-hear, & Touch-to-spell" which basically allows the child to tap on words they don't know and also to have spelling of the words reinforced (for older readers). Overall a nice bundle of features.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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January 2, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Nicole Snitselaar/Coralie Saudo

Top That! Publishing

Length (time):
5 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8 +

English •

Length (pages):
25 Pages


Story Synopsis - Hiku

Hiku is a young penguin who is upset when he finds out his whole extended family (a lot of penguins apparently) is coming to visit. It turns out that Hiku is an unusual name, even for a penguin, so his family affectionately teases him, saying, "Hiku, Hiku, say cheese or you'll freeze!" whenever snapping pictures. Hiku also stands out visually from all the other penguins because he has a sweet little 'heart-shaped' tummy. To avoid all this attention from his family, Hiku hides in an ice cave during part of the day. While sitting in the cave he begins to recall many happy times with his family, including fishing, diving, playing & finally watching the northern lights together. He becomes lonely for his family, and arrives just in time for a family picture, at last glad to hear the familiar, "Hiku, Hiku, say cheese or you'll freeze!" A charming story for young & old alike.


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Orientation: Portrait

Format: iPad


Swipe-to-read, Touch-to-hear, Touch-to-spell, Music on/off

App Release Date:


Size: 108 MB

Version: 1.3

Lite Version Available: No




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