Oh, the Pets You Can Get! (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Young readers will love learning with Oh, the Pets You Can Get!: All About Our Animal Friends. This non-fiction title, published first in print in 2005, was created to give children ages 5-8 the chance to explore the many animals that families often keep as pets, with a familiar tour guide, The Cat in the Hat. The learning library series was created in the late 1990's by Random House with a talented team of illustrators, writers & educators, who mimic Seuss's rhyming verse and quirky illustrations beautifully.

And now the Cat-in-the-Hat Learning Library books are available as enhanced books, with the help of Oceanhouse Media. Featuring light Read more …

The Berenstain Bears’ Really Big Pet Show by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

There have been hundreds of Berenstain Bears stories published since the first one debuted 1962. Really Big Pet Show is one of HarperCollins square paperback series, published in 2008. According to Wikipedia:

"The books feature a family of anthropomorphic grizzly bears who generally learn a moral or safety-related lesson in the course of each story. Since the 1962 debut of the first Berenstain Bears book, The Big Honey Hunt, the series has grown to over 300 titles, which have sold approximately 260 million copies in 23 languages."

This formula, sometimes criticized for being too moralistically simplistic, has been a fast favorite of millions of Read more …

Dear Zoo by Pan Macmillan

Based on the classic 1982 Rod Campbell title, Dear Zoo is an adorable and beautifully enhanced book app that takes the very best of a traditional 'lift-the-flap' title in print and brings it to digital seamlessly. Children will enjoy this story, about a child who writes to the zoo to send a new pet, but each animal is not quite right for different reasons. A fun matching game is also included, letting kids match the animals in the book to the words used to describe them - like "too scary" or "too big". Eventually a perfect pet is sent to the youngster, one that is just right.

This app is well made and intuitive to use, but it does lack some of the settings and features that book app reader Read more …

The Berenstain Bears Lose A Friend by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

There have been hundreds of Berenstain Bears stories published since the first one debuted 1962. Lose a Friend is one of HarperCollins square paperback series, published in 2007. According to Wikipedia:

"The books feature a family of anthropomorphic grizzly bears who generally learn a moral or safety-related lesson in the course of each story. Since the 1962 debut of the first Berenstain Bears book, The Big Honey Hunt, the series has grown to over 300 titles, which have sold approximately 260 million copies in 23 languages."

This formula, sometimes criticized for being too moralistically simplistic, has been a fast favorite of millions of young Read more …

Mabel & Lulu : The Real Life Adventures - An Interactive Children's Book for iPad by Apphaus Design Inc

"Mabel, LuLu, adventures right on que" sings this book as you open it. It's VERY catchy, like get-stuck in your head catchy. My son has been humming it all day. Two very cute dogs, Mabel & LuLu, are the main characters in these two stories, along with their 'mom' Beth-Anne. 

I say she's the mom because these dogs are definitely the type of pets that are people, even in real life I suspect. That's because Beth-Anne is the name of the developer and it's clear from reading her website that she lives, loves and maybe even daydreams story adventures about her two pups. I'm a cat person by nature, even a bit afraid of dogs sometimes, but I LOVED these two stories. They will appeal not Read more …

Auracle HD - Miko "Wants a Dog" by Auryn, Inc

The Miko series, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, has been among my child's favorites in print for many years, published in the past decade. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series. In this title, Miko is desperate to have a dog. "Mom, can I pleeeeease have a real dog?" begs the little mouse, hoping his mother will change her mind. When his mother reminds Miko that since no one is home at their house during the day, a dog would get much too lonely.

Luckily, just as little Miko is wallowing in his doglessness, he hears the sounds of a real dog nearby. Across the fence, he Read more …

Grendel's Great Escape HD by Michelle Anaya

This adorable book app will enchant young readers with a hilarious tale about a young boy who brings his ferret to school. Created by Blue Piper Imprints, this is a perfectly enhanced book app with beautiful, story-related interactivity and lots of polished animation. Grendel explores the school in this humorous tale, taking young readers into all the familiar locations an escaped pet might hide. Educational touches include text that highlights line by line with the expressive narration. There are also no links at all that leave the app, a nice feature in an app for young kids. Short but sweet, Grendel's Great Escape is a tale children will want to reread often.

Highly Recommended!

This app Read more …

Benny the Cat by Touchoo by Touchoo

Benny the Cat is a truly adorable little book. It is simple and sweet with a story about an orange tabby that likes to play with yarn, be petted and the usual favorite kitty past-times. The reader gets to interact with Benny, too. The child can move little pillows on the screen to find Benny, help pick out Benny's favorite plaything and even pet him with some serious purring as a result.

This book has the perfect kind of interactivity, drawing the child into the story. It's also educational. One page lets the child tap anywhere on Benny to hear about the parts of the body, like eyes, paws & ears. It even teaches about what are appropriate toys for a cat & not to feed cats human Read more …

A New Pet by Psichogios Publications

A New Pet is about a dog named Spike.  His owners suddenly come home with a new 'pet' one day. He notices the changes in his owners, like how they only pay attention to the new pet, even though all it does is cry. This new pet is a baby, of course.  And as the story progresses, we see Spike realize he could never hurt the new pet and then discover that he actually likes her. As the baby grows into a little girl, Spike comes to love her and even shares his secret hiding places in the rose bed for burying bones.

The illustrations are hand drawn and the way Spike is depicted is really expressive, almost as if you can see his shock at this new pet who is clearly less fun than he is, Read more …

Auryn HD – I, Trixie, who is dog by Auryn, Inc

"Bliss to you. Bliss to you! Is me, who is dog. Trixie Koontz, happy dog," begins this tale told by one tail-waggingly happy canine. In between writing chilling thrillers for adult readers, author Dean Koontz has been busy over the past decade loving one very special dog named Trixie, who is the inspiration for this delightful digital title. I find this softer side of Koontz very appealing, producing a series of lovely children's titles in print. Trixie, a beautiful Labrador, tells this story in the first-person (or first-dog to be precise).

"Dog is the best of the best things to be," Trixie tells the reader, explaining all the wonderful aspects of her doggie life. She has a friend 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 …

Goodnight Coop by BokBok Books

This new book app, by promising new developer BokBok Books, is a delightful bedtime story perfect for the digital age. Goodnight Coop follows the nighttime routine of a chicken coop with a lyrical tale reminiscent of Goodnight Moon and other classic bedtime books. From "the clothes on the line" to "the black and white cat", each line resonates with a sense of importance delicately balanced alongside the simple storyline.

This is truly a classic-in-the-making, giving young readers a chance to settle in for the night with well-paced storytelling. The coop of fluffy hens includes Fran, Peeper, Ginger & Maryanne. They all know when it's time to go inside and settle down for sleep, Read more …

Pete and the secret of flying HD by Shape Minds and Moving Images GmbH

This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.

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Just A Big Storm - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
Just a Big Storm by Mercer Mayer is one of the latest Little Critter titles, published in print in 2013. In this title, Little Critter and his family prepare for and then go through a big storm. The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find all 21 of the little mice and spiders hidden on nearly every page.
Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal is Little Critter?" According to Wikipedia, Mercer Mayer did not specify which type of animal the Little Critter is, but, "he resembles a hedgehog, hamster or guinea pig." So, basically he's a rodent ... although a rather lovable one! Over 200 books have been released in this Read more …
Peterkin Meets A Star HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

I am re-reviewing this truly wonderful little book now that the developer, PicPocket Books, has updated it with high-resolution images worthy of the iPad. It is such a delight to see this story's crisp watercolor illustrations!

Peterkin Meets a Star was published in print in 1985 by Random House Books for Young Readers.  It is out of print (unless you have an iPad), although when I checked Amazon for ratings of the print version, I did find used copies available for sale and three 5-star reviews from people clearly excited to find any copy of a much sought after favorite.  I vaguely remember reading this book to the kids I babysat - the year sounds about right. :)

Peterkin, a Read more …

Petunia Pepper HD by PicPocket Books

Petunia is a loveable underdog right from the start of this great digital book based on the print title published in 2010. This little girl has had some seriously bad luck on picture day in the past, from puffy hair, missing teeth and even pink eye! So this year she prepares carefully, but you know what they say about the best laid plans? Things for Petunia definitely go awry but a surprise ending makes for a satisfying read for elementary age children.

As a digital offering this title is simply but solidly made with easy swipe-style page turning and a clear font that highlights along with the expressive narration. There is also some very light animation and a few story-related sound Read more …

Fat Shadow - Interactive Book App for Kids by Antonio Scarpetta

This original book app features light animation and interactivity along with a captivating story about a boy whose shadow has gotten away from him. Reginald likes to entertain his friends with shadow puppets more than anything in the world, besides eating liquorice, which has earned him the affectionate nickname 'Fat Shadow'. But one day his shadow is taken hostage by 'Lady Dark' and he must go to the Land of Disappearing Shadows to try and strike a bargain for his dear friend to return to his side.

On his journey, Reginald gains his shadow back but loses his 'fatness' ... after a fun but harrowing adventure that includes travelling through the 'Empire of The Black Beasties' and the 'Empire Read more …

DinoBoy Adventures by Three Thumbs Up

This unique book takes the reader on a journey with a little boy dressed up in a dinosaur suit. "Dino Boy", as he is called, finds a mysterious slide that takes him on an imaginative escapade. Each page has interactive elements that react to a light tap, eliciting nice sound effects and slight animations.

When triggered, the interactive elements also allow the reader to move to the next page, including several points in the story where the reader gets to make choices that change the story slightly, like a digital 'choose-your-own-adventure.' The book is illustrated with a whimsical combination of photographs and hand-drawn cut-outs. The pages also scroll briefly over images in-between Read more …

Elephant in My Pocket by Jolly Books

An Elephant in My Pocket is a very cute little book for the iPad. It has bright, colorful illustrations and a really funny story that had my son giggling along with the main character, a little girl named Suzy. The story itself is delightful, with a playful approach to storytelling from the child's perspective.  I could easily picture a real little girl telling this tall tale of putting an elephant in her pocket and taking him to school. It captures all the whimsy of childhood imagination.  

Even the scene where the classroom of kids is 'trampled flat' shows hilarious illustrations of arms waving at funny angles under the elephant, so it's not in the least bit scary. Plus the kids Read more …

Picturebook: The Cat that wouldn't move by Orange Books

The Cat That Wouldn't Move strikes me as a book that is as misunderstood as the cat in the story. This has been one of my favorites and frequently read by my little boy and I with lots of giggles to go around. It is, however, a bit strange (the story that is). It's about a cat that won't get off the couch, is obese and even projects a stream of pee into a potty held near him (as an animated scene no less). Clearly it is not funny to everyone and contains material that has been noted in app store reviews as 'inappropriate' for kids, particularly in a classroom setting.

While I do agree that this isn't a great book for sharing with a classroom of other people's children, I wouldn't dismiss Read more …

My Cat At Home In The Wild by Jennifer Rogala

My Cat at Home in the Wild is the first book app from children’s author Jennifer Rogala and is based on her print book of the same name. It is accompanied by hand painted illustrations from artist Dwight Kirkland. As well as the story the book also includes some extras-  a game, jigsaw puzzles, and information about big cats. The story does not contain any interactive elements- it is more like an eBook, all the interactive elements are in the extras. The story is narrated, there is no “read by myself” option. I really like the background music – it has a slow drumbeat and haunting feel, that reminds me of Native American music. The narration Read more …

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