Juno's Musical ABCs

App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
Juno's Musical ABCs App Poster Image
Learn about instruments through a rhyming alphabet story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The app is very straightforward, allowing easy page turning and free-tapping exploration. Kids can either have the story read to them, or they can read it themselves.

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Consumerism

When you start the app, it asks for your name and email address to sign up for a mailing list. You can opt out of it, but it shows up each time you run the app. From the Parent's Corner on the main screen, you can tap options to order DVDs and learn about the company.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Juno's Musical ABCs is a clever musical book app that teaches kids musical instruments and concepts while reading a story and going through the alphabet. There are three options for reading the book: Read to Me, Read Myself, or Autoplay. Each letter of the alphabet has one page with rhyming text, a musical instrument or concept, and some tappable options. Tapping the letter will make the letter say its name and its sound. Tapping the instrument or character causes the word to be repeated, along with the music or sound it makes. At the end of the alphabet, there is a bit more rhyming text, validating kids' ability to make their own beautiful music. Parents also need to be aware that every time you start up the app, it will ask for your name and email address to sign up for the Juno mailing list. You'll have to opt out each time, or sign up. There are also other ways of connecting to the outside world through the app, such as through social media and contacting the publisher.

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Is it any good?

JUNO'S MUSICAL ABCS is a beautifully created storybook with solid concepts and gentle reading (narrated by Brooke Shields). The story is well-written, and the images are colorful and appealing to kids. Musical symbols and instruments are hidden everywhere. The words of the story are highlighted as they are read in the Read to Me option. The item specified on each page is named and the sound is made (e.g., instruments, applause). Kids tap the arrow to turn the page, and can also tap things on each page. At the end of the alphabet, there is still more of the story about other instruments, encouraging further learning. The Read It Myself option has the same features as Read to Me, but it doesn't read the text. Autoplay reads the story and turns the pages.

One of the options in the Parent's Corner is to contact the creators, which opens an email to them. The email screen is cut off and in the wrong orientation, though. It is impossible to cancel the email and discard the draft; the "delete draft" button doesn't work, so you have to save the draft. Also, there is an option in the Parent's Corner for a bonus feature that you unlock with a password, but it's not clear how a player would get the password.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: December 1, 2010
  • Category: Books
  • Publisher: The Juno Company
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.1.3 or later

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