Our Overall rating: 4.25
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The Spellinguists

March 25, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

This fascinating little digital book app has a unique look. The setting is a 'big top' with performers who would be right at home in an old-fashioned circus. The book features two sisters (who are siamese twins) as well as other traditional performers, like a bearded lady, snake charmer and knife thrower. The two sisters, Daisy & Lucille, also have another physical oddity - long snake-like tongues. This fits into the story as they perform literal 'tongue twisting' with accompanying storytelling in rhyme.

The detailed illustrations are line drawings with almost no color. In fact, each page has only one item that appears as a color image. The illustrations depict the sisters performing stunts like touching their tongues to their toes, playing a 'two-woman' band with their tongues, riding a zebra and even using their long tongues in place of the tightrope. It is an unusual looking book for children, with an artistic flair that may also appeal to many adults.

The book has simple settings for narration with the words highlighting individually as they are spoken. You can also tap on any word to hear it spoken aloud. The interactivity is also unique. Tap on the one colored image on each page (only after the narration finishes) and the word for that item appears in a small box and is spelled aloud. Overall the book feels solidly made with easy page turning and crisp narration.

At the end of the book there is a spelling 'activity'. An image of the sisters juggling is in the center of the page with lots of random letters in the space above their heads. One simple word appears below and the reader must tap each letter from the list above in the order the word should be spelled. After 'spelling' 10 words in this manner a special scene is triggered of the sisters juggling a teapot and cups. The words do not seem to have any other meaning beyond the activity, although I did find myself wishing they would form some sort of interesting or mysterious sentence to go along with the sister's performance.

This is an enchanting little book with a nice educational activity for spelling simple words. It will not fit all tastes, but it stands out from many other app store offerings in the book category for its artistic style and unique presentation. The story is charming, old-fashioned and definitely memorable.

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


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The Spellinguists

March 25, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Todd Mariani

Todd Mariani

Length (time):
12 - 20 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 10 +

English •

Length (pages):
20 Pages


Story Synopsis - The Spellinguists

Daisy & Lucille are twins (siamese, sharing one body with two heads) and have extra-ordinarily long tongues. They perform in an old-fashioned circus, standing on one leg while on a colorful ball, riding a zebra and even playing musical instruments with their prehensile appendages. They also help out with the other circus performances, including that of a snake charmer, knife thrower, tightrope walker and clown. For the end of their act they tie their tongues in a knot and then spell 'Mississippi' with their tongues. The following words are spelled by touching the color images throughout the book: twins, ball, star, lips, zebra, hair, girl, shoes, bell, shirt, tongues, hat, table, man, flute, nose, knife, tutu, knot, Mississippi plus many more in the spelling activity at the end of the story.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad


Narration on/off, Highlight Words on/off

App Release Date:


Size: 42.6 MB

Version: 1.1

Lite Version Available: No



The Spellinguists

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