Moo, Baa, La La La! - Sandra Boynton by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

Moo, Baa, La, La, La is my favorite of the Boynton book apps (at least so far). These cute books are from Loud Crow, the same developer that made The Going to Bed Book and the PopOut series. In this cute title, you can tap the characters to hear authentic animal noises. That is, except for the three pigs on the second page, who sing, "La La La". The print book, published in 1982, was also a chart topper with over one hundred 5-Star reviews at Amazon.com.

This app has a similar style to the other Boynton book apps, with lots of touchable elements that bounce slightly like a true pop-up book (and come alive with the addition of snorts, quacks and oinks). There are also surprising touches Read more …

Jack and the Beanstalk by Mindshapes by Mindshapes Limited

"I'm going on a fantastic adventure," says Jack as this story starts. Full of polished animation and fun interactivity that moves the story along, Jack and the Beanstalk by Mindshapes brings a fairy tale classic to digital in a way that is close to perfection. This title is fun, engaging and nicely enhanced for educational use. It features the kind of animation and cartoon-like illustrations that kids love, along with a nice retelling of the classic story about a boy who trades the family cow for three 'magic beans'.

The interactive elements in this app are top notch. Tap the mom to make her toss the beans out the window to grow into a giant beanstalk. Watch Jack eat his fill of cakes in Read more …

Nighty Night! HD - The bedtime story app for children by Fox and Sheep GmbH

Nighty Night! begins with, "Night falls. The moon is high. All the people are ready to sleep as they turn off the lights. But wait! Look at the farmhouse. There are still some lights on. The animals are sleepy, too. Do you want to turn off the lights?" A peaceful farm appears, where you can tap on any one of seven lit areas on the page. The next scene shows an animal still awake (with a light switch nearby). Tap the switch (each light & switch is different) and the animal settles into sleep, closing their eyes.

After all the animals have been put to bed, there is just one person still up - a little boy (and the reader). The last scene is of this little boy waving out his lit Read more …

Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime by ustwo

This incredibly unique app book is one of many that focuses on nursery rhymes. The team that developed this book has really gone the extra mile, though, making Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime one of the most interactive and 'touchable' apps I've ever reviewed. It's nearly impossible to keep your hands off this app, even for adults. Now with added narration & two more nursery rhymes, this digital storybook is nearly perfect.

The developers, ustwo & Atomic Antelope, have been very responsive to customer requests and suggestions and have several updates planned. They seem to have a great team that creates not only beautiful production values but also implements changes more quickly than Read more …

Collins Big Cat: The Farmer’s Lunch Story Creator by Harper Collins Publishers Limited

The Collins Big Cat series was created in the past decade by UK based Collins Education, the third-largest educational publishing house in the United Kingdom, and an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. The Farmer's Lunch, based on the print title by Paul Shipton, was published in 2009. According to the description:

"It's lunchtime and the farmer's hungry, but his lunch box is empty! He turns to all the animals on his farm for help, the sheep, cows, horses and geese, but they are all being very secretive. Are they hiding his lunch, or a much bigger and better surprise? The delightful illustrations develop the text, providing lots of points for discussion." Read more …

Prancing Dancing Lily by Fat Red Couch, Inc.

Prancing, Dancing Lily is a universal book app and is based on a print book of the same name, written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by John Manders. Marsha is the award-winning author of eleven children’s picture books. Prancing, Dancing Lily is inspired by Marsha’s own childhood as she grew up on a farm with Ayrshire cows like Lily. The app also includes a puzzle section, and a scene selector that allows you to easily re-visit favorite pages. It contains no adverts or in-app purchases.

The story starts with an orderly herd of cows marching in for milking time, all except for Lily that is. Lily instead dances and prances about the pasture – Read more …

Olivia Acts Out by Polin8, LLC

Olivia is an adorable pig introduced to readers originally through the print books of Ian Falconer a decade ago. This digital title is adapted from a print book published in 2009, based on the more recent animated series from Nickelodeon. In this story Olivia has the chance to be in the school play but is disappointed that she is in a minor role. She handles it with grace and a bit of star power in the end.

The book is solidly made with swipe-style page turns and text in a drop-down box. The text is rather small and I would have liked to see highlighting as narrated, but I did appreciate that you could remove the text to see more of the whole picture. The app also contains an animated video Read more …

Barnyard Dance - Boynton by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

Barnyard Dance is the latest Sandra Boynton board book brought to life by app developer Loud Crow Interactive of Vancouver, Canada. The book was originally written 20 years ago, and is the fourth Sandra Boynton Board Book produced by Loud Crow.  When you open the book it is just like you are flipping the pages of a board book, but with some surprises thrown in.

Before you even open the book you see it sitting on a table and you can play the instruments sitting beside it. You can opt to read it yourself or have it read by Bluegrass musician John Stey of Stookil Express.  Traditional hoedown music plays in the background and John calls out the moves as if Read more …

Harry Holstein Hits the Road by AugDog Software

This is an adorable story about a cow and the farmer who loves him. Farmer Geck thinks Harry, his Holstein cow, is the finest cow to walk the earth. He treats him well and enters him in many contests that bring Harry accolades and blue ribbons. Then he discovers Harry can talk, but what Harry tells him makes him sad. Harry really wants to see the world. So the farmer lovingly lets him go, even buying him a car!

Of course the world that Harry sees is interesting, but he isn't treated very well by many people. And when someone is nice to him, it just reminds Harry of what it felt like to be with Farmer Geck. Soon Harry is homesick. When he arrives back at the farm, Farmer Geck is Read more …

Moo Said Morris by Digital Leaf Ltd.

The latest offering from Digital Leaf is a winner. Moo Said Morris opens to the home screen, where users have the choice of clicking on settings or starting the story. There are two other options for “Your Sounds” and “Record,” collectively called “Mootown Records,” that are not accessible until all 14 slices of cheese are found within the story. Settings allow users to reset the app to new purchase settings, which is nice for a home with multiple children or for kiddos who love the hunt and want to find all of the cheese again. This area also contains a help section, additional apps by Digital Leaf, books from Digital Leaf and credits.

The Read more …

Angus the Irritable Bull by Watermark Limited

We all know an Angus in real life — the grumpy person everyone is afraid to upset lest they have to deal with the bull. There is a possibility that I am married to an Angus (not really, my darling husband, go back to stomping daisies while I review). It's important to remember that irritable people, who are not like my husband at all, might not even know why they are grumpy and they just need a friend who will stick by them.

Angus is a grumpy bull. The cows, the dogs and even the farmer avoid him until one day, a little bird lands on his back. Angus tries to shoo the bird, but the bird takes up residence and without giving the ending away, makes Angus' life better.

The Read more …

PASS IT ON! by CJ EDUCATIONS CORPORATION

On an idyllic farm where a bee and cow are friends, a message needs to be delivered. Colorful and lightly animated, this app shares a story that starts with little Bee telling Frog that Cow needs help. "Cow is stuck in the fence. PASS IT ON!" begins the message, but by the time it arrives on the other side of the farm, the reason all the animals come running has been 'lost in translation'.

With polished production values and nice settings for a variety of storytime uses, this app will appeal to children aged 3-6. A simple game (oddly named 'telephone' only because it uses images or drawing instead of speaking to pass 'messages'), uses limited pre-selected phrases alongside digital stickers Read more …

Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook by Ayars Animation

There are a lot of versions of Jack and the Beanstalk in the app store right now, but this one is our favorite, so far. This ebook is so big, so interactive and so filled with hidden games and other surprises that I cannot begin to detail them all.

It's a relatively long book at 32 pages, but the real bulk of this app is in the interactivity hidden on every page. Drag the sun on the first page downward and the whole scene turns to night-time, touch the characters and they sing, talk and even trigger games, like a memory match game that is embedded in the middle of the book.

There is an extensive page index that indicates all the different interactive elements, since it would be hard to Read more …

The Cloud Factory by Dalmatian Studios, INC

The Cloud Factory, from Dalmatian Studios, is an exceptional fine-art book app for children (and adults) with a whimsical storyline about a grandfather and his granddaughter. A smokestack pumps out black and white line-drawn clouds with delicate classical music in the background as the app is opened. Text can be hidden or shown (no highlighting) and readers are intricately involved in this interactive storyapp from the first page. Young readers will get to tilt the iPad to pour in milk, rip open a flour sack and dump cotton into a mixture that is designed to make "clouds".

The sketches appear, colorless but full of feeling, as a little girl, Luna, rides with her own small suitcase in hand. Read more …

Goodnight Moon by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

In the Great Green Room, there was a little boy and a red balloon has lulled millions of children to sleep since it was introduced 65 years ago. Goodnight Moon, a classic story for children of all ages, has been adapted to an app by Loud Crow and features interactive elements that bring the storybook to life in the great green room. Children can touch, swipe or title the screen to help the fire crackle, cow jumping over the moon, the old lady whispering hush, fading lights and more. The app features a “read it to me”, autoplay and a read it to myself option. The optional piano music can be turned on and off as you wish within the story.

Our family loved this digital rendition of Read more …

The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble by Alexis Purcell

The Turkey Who Forgot How to Gobble from Alexis Purcell is a delightful adaptation of her book about Joey the Turkey and his journey after having a minor mishap with an apple.  This universal book app is available in both English and Spanish and features a “read to me” and “read to myself” method of using the app.  The app features Joey the Turkey who is hit on the head with an apple and forgets how to gobble.  His friends Lisa, Rudy the Rooster,  Patrick the dog, Minnie-moo the cow, Wiskers the cat and Gillie the turkey try to help him remember how to gobble with some unexpected results.

The illustrations in this app are Read more …

The Lettermen on the Farm by SN Squared Limited

This fun digital storybook under the category "Education" is interactive in a way that not only makes reading fun, but reinforces spelling, reading and sight words. The 'lettermen' themselves are simple but engaging cartoon letters with hands and feet. They are very appealing to kids and have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.

This tale has the 'lettermen' visiting a farm for the day. The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The Lettermen was a series of books created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 1993. According to the information page in the book, "It was never intended to be an Read more …

The Cow Who Made Strawberry Milkshakes by Luis Hernández Parra

This is a fun story about a cow that makes flavored milk. Told in the first person by a child narrator, this storybook app is simple but enjoyable. When someone feeds 'Moo' chocolate one day, she makes ... chocolate milk! Soon the family is feeding her all sorts of yummy things in the hopes of having lots of delicious, flavored milk. Then one day 'Moo' stops producing anything but 'normal milk' ... that is until it is the narrator's birthday, when Moo gives ice cream!

This storybook app is not enhanced beyond narration. It has easy-to-read text and simple page turn by swiping, as well as ample settings to navigate (via a page guide). Other than that, though, this app is really basic, Read more …

Cowboys and Aliens: The Kids by ISBX

This title is based on the 2006 graphic novel about a group of cowboys trying to save townspeople abducted by aliens. Timed to release as "Cowboys & Aliens" hit theaters this summer, this title is only vaguely related to the movie's more mature plot. In this book, fictional kids are introduced representing sterotypical 'cowboys', 'indians' and 'aliens'. The storyline has the kids refusing to share their toys but soon they decide it would be more fun if they can all play together. Told in rhyme, the story ends with new friendships made (and possibly peace in the universe).

The app is solidly made with a lot of nice settings & extras, including painting pages based on all 23 pages of Read more …

The Birthday by Sylvia Van Ommen and Maurice van der Bij by WingedChariot Press

An adorable little mouse on a red bicycle stars in this sweet little interactive storybook for young children, from Winged Chariot. The little mouse is delivering the mail to her neighbors throughout the course of the story. She turns to the reader in one of the first scenes and asks, "Will you help me deliver the post?"

The child then gets to touch and drag the little letters to the mail boxes or directly to one of the animals on her route. The letter in her hand and the spot where the child needs to 'deliver' it are both indicated with a slight animation to let the child know what to do. After each letter is delivered, a second scene appears with new dialogue between 'Mousie' and her Read more …


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