Mibblio is a fun, engaging musical storybook app that allows your children, ages three to eight, to read, sing, and play music all while learning the basics of music composition.
With nine different illustrated story-songs, called Mibblets, from which to choose, and a nearly unlimited combination of musical instrument choices, Mibblio will keep your child entertained for hours on end while they learn.
The starter app is free. When you download the app from the App Store, you can select one Mibblet as a free download. Each additional story-song is $2.99. Some of the songs are well-known classics. Others are new, but are an excellent addition to the classic children’s songs. The nine story songs currently available are:
- The Wheels on the Bus: Music by Rob Corradetti and Sam Rubin. Illustrated by Kim Sielbeck.
- Old MacDonald: Music arranged by Sammy Rubin, featuring Andy Statman. Illustrated by Chelsea Kenna.
- On Top of Spaghetti: Illustrated by Mattia Cerato. Music performed by Union Street Preservation Society.
- The Mashed Potato Monster Gang: Story by Heather Hirshfield and Ed RosenBerg III. Illustrated by Larry 3. Music by Ed RossenBerg III.
- Monkey Jamboree: Story and music by Michael Farkas. Illustrated by Beatrice Costamagna.
- I Like ’em Sunny Side Up: Music and lyrics by Ryan Langlois. Illustrated by Valentina Belloni. Performed by The Third Wheel Band.
- Millie and Her Curling, Whirling Hair: Story by Molly Simms. Illustrated by Jenny Herbert. Music by Sammy Rubin.
- Superhero Vacation: Written and performed by Alana Amram and Jim Campilongo. Illustrated by Travis King.
- Wibblesmacks!: Written and illustrated by Jeremy Hines. Music by Sammy Rubin.
Each story-song is beautifully illustrated. The music composition is also excellent. With a host of talented musicians behind this app, including Grammy-nominated mandolinist Andy Statman and Grammy-winning drummer Marty Beller, the accompaniment is music even to the parent’s ears.
The magic happens when your child begins to engage with the app.
The variety of sounds your child can make is wonderful. On the right-hand side of the app, your child can play 12 different percussive instruments – three are available at any one time, and they are easy to swipe through and change during play – and five different stringed instruments. At the bottom of the app, your child has eight different keyboard settings from which to choose.
There is nothing to limit the amount of creativity your child can use while playing with this app.
On the left-hand side of the app is where even more magic can happen.
Each story-song has its own unique mix of five or six instruments accompanying the song. Each instrument can be turned on and off, either one at a time, in a variety of combinations, or your child can turn off every instrument, leaving only the voice, and become the only source of music. Each time your child turns on and off an instrument, they will get an idea of how music is layered to create the final product they hear in other media. Essentially, they become the composer and the accompanist.
Aside from an app that allows your child’s creativity to run free, parents will also enjoy this app because the instruments never become a cacophony of noise.
As the song’s key changes, so does the key for the stringed instruments. Your child can strum away, haphazardly, and you will not be left asking yourself, “Why did I purchase this noise maker?” Also, I found it wonderful that in the percussion instruments there are two different types of cowbell! I was also quite partial to the banjo and the harp.
The app is extremely simple to navigate. All the child has to do is swipe from song to song, tap the song they want to play, wait for the story to load, and tap the play button. After that, it is as simple as pressing different instruments. Once your child is done, the music continues to play in the background, leaving them to continue to create their own special mix of sounds. When they are done, they can either reload the story-song and start from the beginning, or return to the home screen to choose another story-song to play.
There is even a reminder to parents to set Multitasking Gestures to off. This is to prevent your child from accidentally going to other apps, as they excitedly press all the things within the app.
Colorful, engaging, and fun, Mibblio will keep your child singing, creating music, and reading, for hours on end, without hurting your eardrums.
The Mibblio starter app, with one free Mibblet, for iPad, is available in the App Store. Additional story songs can be purchased within the app.
Mibblio was founded in 2012 by cousins Sammy Rubin and David Leiberman. As a composer and music producer, Sammy wanted to create a new type of musical story experience for kids that combined illustrated stories with the music-making elements that he used on a daily basis. David left the world of consulting to design and teach innovative curricula to high school students and joined Sammy on his venture to create a fun, musically enriching and educational new technology. David’s background in education as well as his passion for music made for the perfect partnership and thus Mibblio was born. Be sure to like Mibblio on Facebook and follow on Twitter for the latest updates.
A copy of this app and all of the story songs were provided for the purposes of this review.