The FOOT Book - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

This is a very fun book app and a nice addition to any educational library. It is one of the best digital options to teach about opposites and among the Seuss books aimed at young readers. Engaging in a way only Dr. Seuss can be, this book demonstrates through whimsical illustrations concepts like dry/wet, slow/fast, big/small and even his/her. The story follows a Seussical looking character who is exploring all the kinds of feet, starting with left and right.

In print, this book has been a favorite of kids and their parents since it's publication in 1968. This one stands out for its emphasis on opposites and is among the Seuss books that stick to sight words for the benefit of Read more …

Monster's Socks by Martin Hughes

Storytelling just got a lot cooler with this title about a little monster on a quest to find his lost pair of socks. Not-at-all-scary, this is a book app that will enchant youngsters with innovative features and top-notch production values. The little monster 'walks' across the screen with the help of the reader. Arrows in the bottom corners of each page let kids move the main character back and forth to explore  without any actual page 'turning' involved. This fits the medium beautifully and feels fresh and game-like, despite the more-or-less linear storytelling and well-crafted and paced text. This is definitely a 'book' but also something more.

Creative interactive elements are Read more …

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure by Egmont UK

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure is an amazing digital offering, adapted from a 2009 award winning print title for readers age 4-8. It features small animated touches and fun interactivity. The real treat, though, can be found in Stephenson's gorgeous illustrations and story, narrated engagingly by Michael Maloney. In print, this book was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book award and a winner of the Practical Pre-School Bronze medal.

The 5-star reviews at Amazon.com from readers just reinforce the book's literary reception. Charlie is a little boy with a wild imagination. He ventures into a scary castle to find a little princess having a Read more …

Blue Hat, Green Hat - Boynton by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

Blue Hat, Green Hat is another hit by Loud Crow, the same developer that made The Going to Bed Book and the PopOut series. While it is interactive with subtle 'pop-up' style animations, it is also short enough (and accompanied by relaxing piano music) to make it appropriate for settling down at nighttime. However, this title has a lot for kids to play with, too, making it great for any time of day. The print book, published in 1984, is also a chart topper with nearly a 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. There are also delightful touches, like animals Read more …

Slice of Bread goes to the Beach by Grant Adam

This is another phenomenal book app from Jelly Biscuits, makers of Food Fight!. Like their previous book app by Glenn Melenhorst, this title is fun but also cognizant of the adult reading alongside the child. With subtle humor, a tale unfolds about an anthropomorphized slice of bread who drives a toaster-mobile and likes to hunt for treasure by digging in the sand at the beach. He's hoping to find the match to his latest find - a single red sandal, the right one.

The story has great attention to detail, so when Slice of Bread is digging, he pulls up all sorts of things most of us would be excited to find ... like jewels, bags of cash, trophies and even a treasure chest full of gold (I guess 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 …

Fox In Socks - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media

Fox in Sox is a delightful book in digital form, with bright beautiful pictures of the beloved classic Dr. Seuss. I had forgotten just how much tongue twisting some of these Seuss titles require, so it was refreshing to have a digital version that 'reads by itself' (as my son likes to say). And the professional narrator does a much better job than I could ever do with lines like "muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle".

For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is read. Tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 'read-it-myself' mode. All of the Dr. Seuss books are an excellent choice for children learning to read because they are filled with Read more …

Loose Strands: Unlockable Edition by Darned Sock Productions Inc

Loose Strands, by DarnedSocks Productions, is a choose-your-own-adventure style story app with dozens of different possible adventures. This imaginative tale is about a boy who is trapped in world where he can never go outside and everything (and I do mean everything) is made of hair from the family's barber shop. Tween readers can be picky about what they want to read and difficult to motivate, so you can try out this app for free (for iPad), with a sample chapter. The rest of the book can be unlocked to the full storybook by an in-app purchase, which is very worthwhile for a title that has nearly 2000 pages. The full storybook app is also available separately as a paid app for iOS, Kindle Read more …

Sock n Boots by DAMON SMITH

Sock n Boots is an app with a collection of three stories about basic skills young children need to learn, including sharing, playing safe and getting over a fear of the dark. While the stories themselves are quite simple with little enhancement, they do stand out for being educational. This title also features unique personalization settings and computer graphics that will appeal to children.

The interactive elements allow images to be tapped to hear the name and spelling of the object pictured. Some images also respond with additional information about the scene, like "the birds are sleeping" for an image of a sleeping bird in her nest. In addition, the app has nice highlighting to go Read more …

Fancy Nancy Dress Up by Bean Creative

Do you know a little girl who would like to play dress up with Fancy Nancy? Based on the 2005 Jane O'Connor title that held the top spot on the New York Times Bestseller list for almost 100 weeks, this app is an exceptional offering for creative play. A very short story about a party little Nancy is attending is included, but the real highlight is the free-form dress-up playtime this app provides.

The app has a very nice set of directions under "How to Play". This explains that there are five slots to save images to, within the app. Each of these pictures can be created with lots of choices including different backgrounds, stamps of items to place around the scene and lots of dress-up Read more …

Puss in Boots - The Great Adventure by Lucia Masciullo

From Blue Quoll, creators of Mr. Wolf and the Ginger Cupcakes, comes another whimsically re-imagined folk tale, this time featuring the story of Puss in Boots. The tale follows some of the familiar classic, but the overall narrative is entirely unique. The ogre can 'transform into all animals' and 'has a thousand chests of gold', but in this retelling, he has one very unique soft spot, a tiny kitten he loves and loses. This little cat grows up to become 'Puss in Boots', the pet of one rather musical son of a local miller.

As a digital book, this one is delightful, with nice narration, music and truly beautiful illustrations. The hand-drawn, water colors featured in this story are Read more …

Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

An exceptional new app for young readers (with five books in one) is now available from Oceanhouse Media! This is the digital version of the print collection available from Random House. It includes the following digital titles, all fully reviewed individually on this site (click on the title to link to our review):

The Cat in the Hat

Fox in Sox

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?

The Foot Book

In print, this book collection has been a favorite of parents, teachers & young readers. All five of these titles are among the Seuss books that stick to sight words for the benefit of 'learner readers'. Like the other titles from Oceanhouse Media, this book Read more …

Cinderella - A Princess Story by One Hundred Robots

This digital version of Cinderella is retold based on one of the most popular versions of the fairytale, written by Charles Perrault in 1697. Perrault added the pumpkin, fairy-godmother and glass slippers to the classic tale, making this a very familiar rendition of the rags-to-riches story for modern audiences.

As an app, this book is very well made and has a nice page turning style with arrows that trigger 'scrolling' to the next scene by moving the perspective to another part of the house rather than simulating a traditional page turn. The app has several simple sound effects on each page and a few light animations throughout the story. Classical music also accompanies the Read more …

Pan: The Fearless Beribolt by Lollihop, INC.

Pan: TheFearless Beribolt  is such a rich and character driven well-told story. We really enjoyed reading about Pandora as she ventured into new lands and adventures. I think you will find this will quickly become a favorite in your household. This is absolutely one of my favorites storybook apps I have reviewed.  ove this!

So off their go on their first field trip below with their elders who are taking the class to Nightbug Falls. There was only one rule for the day – don’t touch the plants. But of course, Pandora couldn’t resist and we are told to touch the lilies to release the night bugs. Once we do that – the entire screen fills up Read more …

Little Lilly's Touch Book by Extra Special Kids

Little Lilly is the second book in the Extra Special Kids series, after Zanny: Born to Run. Designed to help kids with Autism & other developmental issues to see themselves in a book, this title tackles the 'sensory avoidance' of some kids who have sensory processing issues. Little Lilly loves to take her shoes off and dance barefoot, but she won't go near almost any other surface with her bare feet. Grass is prickly, carpet too squidgy and the sandbox is a place she'll never go near.

Featuring light animation and interactivity, this is a sweet but very short title. The animations are simple but cute, although most interactivity is not especially related to the story's content. Text Read more …

My Parents Are Crazy! by Confidence Through Characters, Inc.

My Parents Are Crazy! is an animated, interactive book app from Confidence Through Characters, Inc. It was created by Katherine Geerdes, an educator from Southern California, and is designed to encourage children to read. It has optional narration, word highlighting,(which can also be switched on in read-by-myself mode), and the volume of the background sounds can be adjusted. it also includes a “learn” section with colorful flashcards featuring the sight words from the app, the sight word is spoken if these are touched. There is a page navigation option, so it is easy to return to favorite pages. The app is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links. Read more …

The Gobberwobbly by Ice Cream Publishing L.L.C.

This book opens with delicate classical music and a mysterious door opening ... to the words, "A Gobberwobbly lives in this house." This mysterious creature is at the heart of why socks go missing or get holes in them, according to the story. The Gobberwobbly is a lyrical tale accompanied by beautiful harp music and lush illustrations.

A Gobberwobbly is a creature that lives in every house, eating those missing socks we all wonder about. But the creature can be tamed into a loving pet who grows up and eventually has to leave home, becoming "moody and meditative" in the process (like a real teenager). On about every other page there are interactive elements, like lights that turn Read more …

Henry! you're late AGAIN! by ZebraMinds, Inc.

Henry! you're late AGAIN! tells us the story of a young boy who is constantly late for school. Although it is not always his fault. As we see in the story his Dad sleeping in and his sister Isabela not being able to find her polka-dotted socks are just some of the reasons that Henry is constantly late for school.

The constant late arrivals at school have made Henry perceive the school in a some what distorted manner. He imagines the school secretary as someone who lives in the school and never leaves, but lies in wait to catch out children who are late. He can't even view the secretary as a real person who has feet and socks, but rather an overbearing figure who has a wooden desk instead of Read more …

Zoobert's BIGGER Day by Patrick Laneville Enterprises

This book features a cute little monster named Zoobert who lives in a sock drawer. He sounds and acts like a young child, making him very relatable and definitely one of the least scary monsters on the planet. The reader gets to be involved in the story, not by touching the screen, but by shaking the device. This can be difficult when young children read it on the iPad, because of its weight, but any movement that has a firm 'jerking' motion will usually do the trick (the page has an arrow to tap as an alternative if shaking seems like a bad idea) An iPhone version is also available, see the 'other versions' tab on this review for the link and more information.

The child begins by shaking Read more …

Gator8 by Glen McGhie

What would you do if an alligator swallowed your boots? Chances are, you wouldn't try to get a dangerous creature to cough them back up, like Jud, the main character in this humorous and polished storybook app. Featuring film-quality graphics with light animation, this is a reading experience sure to keep children tapping and giggling as they explore each page. Adults will also enjoy the many tongue-in-cheek details within the illustrations, like Jud's wife's coffee cup that says, "I ♥ LA" or the voodoo man's 'Mac' laptop with a glowing skull instead of the Apple logo.

The story itself plays on stereotypes a bit, depicting a 'hillbilly' couple living in the alligator-infested Read more …

Puss In Boots Movie Storybook by iStoryTime

Just in time for the holiday movie release of Dreamworks Puss in Boots, comes an interactive storybook from iStorytime. This app has the compete story from the movie, including magic beans, humpty dumpty and more. Featuring light animation triggered by sliding a small lever to see the crisp movie images in motion, this title has lots of appeal for fans of Shrek and the most recent film in the series.

The story is relatively long, spanning over 40 pages with an additional series of scenes and dialogue available on every page. Just tap the 'open' tab on the bottom of the screen to see and hear more of the story. This makes for a very entertaining read for children, keeping them occupied and Read more …

Auracle - Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose - HD by Auryn, Inc

"Tail, Toes, Eyes, Ears, Nose," repeats this app that is less of a storybook and more of an educational app based on a print title. Animals from an elephant to a bird (and even a human) are shown with just their body parts. After naming each part, readers can see the whole animal emerge.

This app is based on an out-of-print book published in 1992 and is great for toddlers & preschoolers. The reinforcement of all the body parts is 'spot on' for this age group's developmental needs. It also does a great job engaging the very short attention span of children under 5, although this also means this app is a bit light on content, lasting barely 3 minutes on autoplay.

As a print title, this Read more …

The Shoemaker and the Elves - An Interactive Children's Book by TabTale by TabTale LTD

The Shoemaker and the Elves is a very interactive book app with a stripped down version of the Grimm's folktale. The production values on all of the interactive elements are high, making it very intuitive & fun.  However, the story, told in rhyme, sometimes falls flat, missing some of the warmth of the original tale. The interactions are plentiful though, making this an app that kids will love to play with over and over.

In this version, the shoemaker & his wife are poor but happy ... the story doesn't make clear how they are in need beyond this, but the shoemaker goes to bed with one pair of shoes unfinished. When he wakes up the pair of shoes is 'fixed' although the story Read more …

Buckle My Shoe by appropo llc

I have loved using Anna Grossnickle Hines’ version of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe in storytimes for years.  With its quilted illustrations, the slight variation in text from the traditional rhyme (just enough to make it interesting, not so much that it becomes weird or unfamiliar), and the layers of detail that you can choose to explore with kids or not, depending on how squirrely your group is (How many buttons are on this page? Where did that red thread come from?), this book is rich with read-aloud possibility. I was delighted to learn recently that this book has now been translated into an app called Buckle My Shoe by appropro!

I am happy to report that Read more …