Being Global by SachManya LLC

"What does it mean to be global?" asks this upbeat digital children's book, accompanied by an invigorating guitar tune that makes readers want to dance to the same global beat. Based on the 2009 print title from Little Pickle Press, this nicely crafted picture book makes a smooth transition to digital. It features light animation and interactivity, plus lots of extras.

The story features a laundry list of ways children can think globally, with a focus on diversity, caring for the planet, and building community. Ambient sound effects and excellent pacing give the whole experience a polished, multi-media feel. This can be especially nice for storytime with multiple listeners on autoplay. The Read more …

If I Ran the Rainforest (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Young readers will love learning with If I Ran the Rainforest: All About Tropical Rain Forests (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat). This non-fiction title, published first in print in 2003, was created to give children ages 5-8 the chance to explore the exceptional diversity in the ecology of the rainforest, 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  Read more …

Collins Big Cat: At the Dump 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. At the Dump, based on the print title by Claire Llewellyn and Ley Honor Roberts, was published in 2007. According to the description:

"This book focuses on the core topics of biology with a friendly writing style and vivid illustrations while exploring current "real world" issues. A seven-part organization covers atoms, molecules, and cells; energy and life; genetics; evolution and the diversity of life; human anatomy and physiology; and plant anatomy and physiology. For Read more …

The Lorax - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a classic tale about an environmental disaster in a world where a greedy business-person (the Once-ler) cuts down all the Truffula trees to make Thneeds.  The story begins long after the devastation, with a young boy coming to see what has happened, seeking out the Once-ler.  When the boy finds the Once-ler, he settles in for the long tale of the Lorax and his warnings.

As the Once-ler's story unfolds, the effects of each tree being cut down reverberate throughout the environment, with species after species being driven away.  The Lorax himself is a strange little creature that 'speaks for the trees' because 'trees have no tongues'. He sends the Read more …

Builda the Re-Bicycler by National Network of Digital Schools Corp

Midlandia is a fictional land where anthropomorphized canines work, live and have all sorts of adventures. One Midlandian, Builda, is the owner of the bicycle factory, supplying everyone with their favorite form of transportation. When a bike breaks, even with something as small as a flat tire, the habit in town is to throw it away and get a new one. But the local dump is beginning to overflow when Builda has a big idea that can make life better for everyone.

This lightly animated and interactive series is full of fun illustrations with lots of detail to show off Midlandia and its inhabitants. Nice hints show kids where to tap, triggering sound effects and cute animations, most of which are Read more …

Two Left Feet by RESIN PTY LTD

An exceptional storybook in print has arrived in digital with just a little more enhancement than your typical book app ... meet Rufus, a sweet and hardly scary monster, created by author Adam Stower in print in 2004. In the paper version of this storybook, a well-crafted and beautifully illustrated title previously published only in Australia, the story of a little monster with two 'left' feet emerges. Basically, Rufus can't dance, but "as everybody knows, monsters just love to dance" and Rufus shows off his best efforts at the "Grand Ball". In the end, a girl (isn't it always a girl that saves our hero?) arrives on the scene to provide (spoiler alert!) her two 'right' feet for a dramatic Read more …

Laloo the Red Panda by Laloo LLChttp://laloo.us/

An adorable little red panda cub who loves bugs stars in this story, which includes lots of action and suspense as little Laloo gets trapped by a poacher and then makes friends (including many new bugs) on his long journey home. Many insect species are also highlighted in the story, along with great information about the culture and natural environment of East Asia. Subtle but engaging interactive elements are well-crafted, although hints for some of them would be a nice addition.

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens, or shining-cat), is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China, with fewer than 10,000 adults of the Read more …

Chimps Should Be Chimps Storybook - Lincoln Park Zoo and Project ChimpCARE by Manning Productions

"In a zoo in a town, like one that you know ..." begins this storybook about our closest primate relatives. We are introduced to the zoo where a 50th birthday party is happening for 'old Poe'. His grand-daughter, Lulu, asks questions about his life that he tells to the reader in brief passages that go back in time. Poe was forced to be in the circus and in movies, showing a dark side to the love affair humans have with their nearest primate kin.

As an educational title, this book is well made and has a nicely crafted story. Enhancements are not quite animation, but do provide movement and great sound effects as the illustrations are panned-over to show each of Poe's reflections on his past. Read more …

A Green, Green Garden - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer is one of the "I Can Read!" Little Critter titles, published in print in 2011. In this title, Little Critter and his family are preparing to plant a garden together. The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find all 20 of the little mice and spider 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 Read more …
The Amazing Adventures of Eco Boy by Lana Sultan

This is a short and informative ebook app about recycling. The little boy in the story is distressed to find his local park covered in trash, so he convinces his friends & neighbors to help him put up recycling bins to clean up the earth. He becomes 'Eco Boy' with cape, mask and superhero outfit. The park gets cleaned up, recycling is sorted and "the mission to keep planet earth greener and cleaner" becomes the boy's passion. A final page also has more information about recycling in simple terms that children can understand.

The book has cartoon-style illustrations that are clear and easy to explain to the youngest of kids. The book is also nicely narrated by a British English speaker. Read more …

The Amazing Adventures of Eco Boy, Vol 2 by Lana Sultan

This is a short and informative ebook app about recycling plastic. It is part of the series of Eco Boy books, and features a new character, Bio Girl. The story begins with children littering the beach with their empty plastic bottles. This 'rubbish' gives rise to a plastic-based villain named Bottlexo who terrorizes kids by throwing plastic bottles at them. In response, a little girl is inspired by Eco Boy's example to become "Bio Girl". The two kids combine their superpowers to clean up the plastic bottles and put them into recycling bins.

This book, like the first volume in the series, is told in rhyming verse; "On a new mission, we shall be together. Looking after our planet to make it Read more …

Lootupootu – a bedtime story for children by JOLLY UNIVERSE LTD

Lootupootu from Jolly Universe is about an elf who learns to care for his environment. Little Lootupootu goes on a trip to a park for a picnic, a familiar activity for young readers. While at the park, Lootupootu litters, tossing his trash onto the grass, until the birds teach him about the value of keeping the world clean. The text is clear and easy to read, with original, cartoon-style graphics that will have a lot of appeal for young kids.

This simple storybook has no animation or interactivity, beyond a series of games embedded within the story's pages. The games are cute, although none of them is particularly challenging or educational. You can access all three from the home page or Read more …

Earth Dog Story by COMPLETE MARKETING LTD

This eco-storybook app is made with simple settings and very little enhancement beyond narration, however the story itself is a winning choice for reading in the classroom for Earth Day or any other "green" celebration. It can also make a good bedtime story, although it is rather heavy on message, to a degree that might feel dogmatic to some older readers. A small "i" appears on the cover page but is not active. Note too, that the final page encourages a trip to the developer's website, EarthDog.org, to read more stories and play on-line games; with a small tap of this screen, young readers will find themselves on the web quite easily, something parents and teachers may wish to avoid by Read more …