Our Overall rating: 4.5
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Stella is a Star

November 22, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Heartwarming story about a dog that wants to be a pig ...

This lovely storybook app is based on the popular 2010 print book by the same title. It was originally bundled with a CD, produced by Bernadette Peters and paired with delightful illustrations by Liz Murphy. The story is beautifully paced and crafted, about a little dog who wants to be a dancing pig. This fresh take on wanting to be something you're not, ends thoughtfully, pointing out the value of being yourself and being a good friend.

As an enhanced digital book, this app is well enhanced with story-related animations that bring the book alive without detracting from young reader's comprehension. There is no real "tap and explore" type interactivity within the book, but polished production values make this a musical storybook of the highest quality. A music video and review of ballet poses is included in the extras.

From CJ Educations, creator of AlphaBeasties, this app is also solidly built with easy navigation and intuitive controls. Narration highlights word-for-word among other nice features. The only downside is that page turns are a bit slow (particularly on older iPads) and you cannot turn off the word-highlighting (even when narration is off). This interrupts the silent reading experience, forcing faster readers to wait for the page turn arrow to appear.

In narrated mode, however, this app is a true crowd pleaser, ideal for ages up to 9. It even includes a 'ballet lesson' featuring a music video inset (showing your child by using the device's camera). It's built-in instruction for little ballerinas direct from Stella! Likely to be read over and over by the ballet-obsessed, Stella is A Star! is also easy to enjoy as a parent, with its heartwarming ending about Stella being "just who she is: a dog who loves to dance and a true-blue friend."


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.

Note to readers: This review was expedited by the developer for a fee. The content of the rating/review is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized.

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


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Stella is a Star

November 22, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

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Bernadette Peters/Liz Murphy


Length (time):
8 - 15 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 8 +

English •

Length (pages):
26 Pages


Story Synopsis - Stella is a Star

Have you ever heard of the words Jeté, Plié, or Pirouette? If not, now is your chance to get acquainted with these words, even without stepping into a ballet studio. Loaded with both simple vocabulary and real dance language, STELLA IS A STAR provides fun read-to or auto-read experiences and encourages active reading skills.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad


Read to Me, AutoPlay, Home, PageGuide, Extras, Narration/Music On/Off, Parent's Section w/Links to: AppStore, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 142.78 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



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