Recently, I’ve been contacted by lots of iPhone and iPad app developers. They are almost as thick as a shiver of sharks. (Remember in the grammar book giveaway that I recently had, I listed what groups of animals are called? I loved the one referring to sharks. I used ‘shiver of sharks’ here because I liked the onomatopoeia of the phrase and because I always shiver when I think of sharks. Especially when I know that my husband is scuba diving amongst those man-eating critters.)
Back to the apps.
A lovely Swiss mother has produced an app for the iPhone and iPad based on the classic story of Heidi by Johanna Spyri. She (the Swiss miss mom and not the author who passed away in 1901) is allowing me to give away apps to two giveaway winners.
I applaud this mother for her programming prowess! Kudos go to her for doing such a fine job with her apps Heidi I, Heidi II, and Heidi III. I want to be an app developer like her when I grow up.
But first, do you remember that story? Heidi’s parents die and she goes to live with her gruff grandfather up the mountain. Heidi becomes friends with Peter, the goat-herd, and starts enjoying her life with Grandfather. Then, Heidi is sent to live in Frankfurt to be a companion to Klara, who is an invalid. Heidi misses her life with Grandfather and goes back to live with him. Klara visits Heidi and grandfather. Peter is jealous of Heidi’s attention to Klara and shoves Klara’s wheelchair off the mountain. Klara eventually learns to walk and everybody lives happily ever after.
As an interesting side note, 20 film or television versions of this story have been produced. Now, thanks to one smart woman, it is reaching into the new media of this new millennium– mobile technology.
These apps, Heidi I, Heidi II, and Heidi II, are a delightful rendition of the story about Heidi. The story is divided into three parts to make it more accessible to young children.
The artwork is reminiscent of the era in which the story was originally written (1880). Here are three screen shots to give you an idea of what the artwork is like. (Do be sure to click on the pictures to see a larger version. Then, you’ll really be able to appreciate the artwork.)
The apps give you the option to have the story read to you (which is good for young children) in English or German. Or, you can read the story yourself.
The reading level for these apps is for third or fourth graders and older. If your grandchild would have the application read the story to her, she should be at least three years old. This is mainly because they would need to have the attention span to sit long enough to hear the story. (I guess younger children could listen to the story, but they might not sit still long enough to listen to the whole story during one sitting.)
The artwork in these applications is delightful. It makes me want to visit the Alps and meander the streets of a Swiss village. (And drink hot chocolate and sleep under a down comforter.)
I love the sounds that are included in the story — bleating of goats, tinkling of bells, tolling of church bells, cracking fire, wind blowing in the trees, and swooshing down the mountain on a sled.
I do have one small concern. In the first story, it talks about Grandmother. I was confused as to whether or not this grandmother was married to Heidi’s grandfather of it it was Peter’s grandmother. FYI, I looked it up on Wikipedia and it is Peter’s grandmother. (What in the world would we ever do without good ol’ Wikipedia?!)
Enter the Giveaway
All you have to do is leave a comment and mention whether or not you have read this story. Also, in your comment, mention if you would prefer an iPhone app or an iPad app.
Using random.org, I will select three lucky people to receive promotional codes for free copies — one iPhone winner and two iPad winners.
The contest will be open from now until midnight September 8. I will announce the winner on September 9.
Hurry now and leave a comment!