Review : Billie The Unicorn in 3D for iPad
Billie the Unicorn embodies everything there is to like about iPad storybook apps. Animations, illustrations, narration, a great story, hidden gems, and interactions! It features Billie the unicorn, who leaves the cornfield home for the forest where her cousins (Rhubarb and Smudge) grow delightful flowers, that are more beautiful than anyone could possibly imagine. Billie learns much along her journey, and that raising a garden of beautiful flowers takes skill, hard work, and lots of love. However, Billie soon finds the legend of the Queen’s amazing garden too much to handle and sets off to see it. But things are not always what they seem.
The app is a very nicely told story, one with adventure, fun, peril, and a lesson for kids. It’s full of amazing, and I really mean amazing, illustrations, that really do appear to be in 3D, even without the use of those annoying glasses. Kids can tilt and turn and slowly rotate the iPad to see the surrounding world move and interact in ways that it wasn’t before…it’s just awesome. My kids really had a blast with it.
There are also so many interactive elements that kids will probably have to go back through multiple times to find them all, which is just fine, as they’ll love it each time. If they’re having any trouble finding all the various hidden items, there is a setting to turn on hints, which takes away some of the fun, but doesn’t take away or get in the way of the story or app itself…just another well done aspect of this release.
Kids can have the story read to them, or can read it themselves. Both are features that every good storybook app should have at this point. But I LOVE the way that they give kids the ability to get help along the way if they choose to read it themselves. If my daughter comes across a word or sentence that is proving difficult. She just touches the first word she needs help with, drags her finger across the paragraph, stops where she wants the help to end, and that section is highlighted and read aloud. This is a great use of the device and the app. Love it!
After a few days with Billie the Unicorn in 3D, my kids have gone through it numerous times, sometimes trying to read the story, sometimes just listening to the story, every time enjoying the story.