The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Moonbot Studios LA, LLC

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore was a short animated film released to critical acclaim in 2010. The gorgeous film comes to life in this digital book app in a way that might even top the film's reception. It's just that amazing, giving the reader an immersive experience that makes other book apps with 'Wow' factor pale by comparison. Developers should be warned that the team at Moonbot Studios has just raised the bar.

The story follows the adventures of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a rather sad little fellow who experiences great tragedy before re-discovering the magical world of books. Every page of his adventure is imminently touchable, even the storm that carries his grayscale Read more …

Numberlys by Moonbot Studios LA, LLC

"Once upon a time there was no alphabet, only numbers," begins this highly polished app from Moonbot Studios. The story is told in a theatrical way, with exceptional computer animation and interesting games built into the storyline. The look of the app is very dark, in monochromatic tones that remind one of a black & white propaganda film about a communist country during the cold war. It even feels omnious at times, with dramatic music and a narrator with what sounds like a combination of an eastern European accent and a computerized voice.

This grim world is transformed by five number-named characters that have a dream ... to go beyond numbers and create a world that is more expansive Read more …

Millie Was Here, Book 1: Meet Millie by MegaPops LLC

Millie Was Here is a short but absolutely adorable book about an ordinary dog with extraordinary capabilities. The app has great background music, delightful narration and a charming interactive interface that will please adults as much as children. The story, while slight at only 8 pages, is humorous, including lots of typical dog 'shenanigans' like pushing food into the corners of the couch & refusing to eat anything but bacon.

A cute extra is included that involves hunting for a hidden sticker on every page. The other interactive elements are the real star of this show, though. You can pull tabs and slide levers that respond with crisp sound effects, revealing Millie's many secrets. 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 …

Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island - Interactive Book App for Kids by Treasure Bound Books Pty Ltd

Kai is a 10 year old boy with a wild imagination and a love of history and treasure. He lives above his parents' treasure shop and the illustrations of this store were so detailed that I could almost imagine being able to play a 'hidden object' game within the page. Tapping on any one of dozens of items elicits high quality sound effects at every turn in the shop's shelves. And we haven't even gotten to the heart of this book - the treasure hunt itself.

This digital book has wonderful interactive sounds and lots of things to touch on every page. One of my son's favorites was the lamp that Kai gets as a birthday gift. It has a shade that looks like a globe and tapping on it turns Read more …

Millie's Crazy Dinosaur Adventure - Millie Was Here, Book 3 by MegaPops LLC

Millie’s Crazy Dinosaur Adventure – Millie Was Here, Book 3 by Megapops LLC is another wonderful tale from the makers of Millie and the Lost Key. As with all of the Megapops apps featuring Millie the dog, this story is as zany as ever. It has all the components needed to draw kids in and keep them totally mesmerized. Parents rejoice, this is one sophisticated app that packs a punch every time. The unique photo collage style and gaming feel give this app an edge over others.

Join Millie as she travels back in time to retrieve the forgotten birthday gift for her dear friend Kitty and accidentally ventures back a tad farther than planned. Help the story take twists Read more …

Barnyard Mystery by Hamson Design Group Pty Ltd

Are you looking for a digital picture book that allows your child to 'choose their own adventure' with a story that is different every time you read? Or maybe one that includes your child's name, too? Well, look no further than this delightful new app that tells the story of a family visiting a farm. The family (which includes your child if you enter their name on the title page) is asked to help Farmer Bill find a cute baby chick that has gotten lost. The search takes them all over the farm, with each change in location prompting a decision by the reader.

I'm not sure how many different story combinations there are for this title, but it was a slightly different story every time I read it Read more …

Just Lost - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Just Lost - Little Critter by Mercer Mayer is based on one of the sweetest Little Critter titles, published in print in 1994. In this book, Little Critter goes shopping at the mall with his mom but looses track of her in the crowd. He explores the stores (starting with toys, of course) and makes mischief before finally being reunited with his family. 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 that Mayer hid in his detailed illustrations.

 
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 Read more …
Triceratops Gets Lost - Smithsonian's Prehistoric Pals by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Triceratops Gets Lost is a nicely illustrated title in Oceanhouse Media's Smithsonian Collection - a series based on popular non-fiction print titles about the natural world. The print version of this title was released in 2004 along with an audio CD. As a book app, this title sparkles, giving enormous value over its print counterpart, including narrated text that highlights as read. This book series fills a great need for digital book apps with non-fiction educational content. The books selected so far have been well vetted as print titles, making it easy as parents & educators to select these digital books with confidence.

Each title in this series takes the Read more …

Eleanor's Secret HD by So Ouat

This deligtfully animated and compelling storybook is based on the film by the same name, produced in 2009. The book follows the movie plot closely, with fully animated scenes on every page. Little Nathanial and his family come to Eleanor's home after she has died to find her estate left in disrepair. Eleanor has gifted her library of books to little Nathanial, but until he can learn to read, the true magic of this gift is lost.

A lot of plot details from the original film are skimmed over in this brief retelling, but the essence of the story remains intact. The gift of reading is at the center of the plot and in the end, Nathanial and his family are able to preserve the literary legacy. Read more …

The Adventures of Puppup: Lost at the Zoo by Fletcher Grayson

The Adventures of Puppup: Lost at the Zoo from Graymedia Productions, tells the tale of old Puppup, a puppy toy softie, reminiscing about a big adventure trip to the zoo with his girl Julia and her Dad, where he meets a wonderful bunch of friendly animals who help him out. It brings to mind elements of both Finding Nemo and Toy Story but Fletcher Grayson's story is wholly original.

The most striking thing about this interactive book is the illustrations, and I'm not really sure how to describe them. They are a really visually appealing mélange of real photographic images that have been richly textured and artistically rendered with paint strokes and other Impressionistic effects. Read more …

Lost Larry by Wasabi Productions Pty Ltd

Larry the lazy lizard is back in this cute sequel. In this title, the reader gets to help Larry make his way through several obstacle courses, like paths by dangerous animals (ants, bees) and treacherous natural environments like hopping over a stream on lily pads or even crossing a rickety old wooden bridge with missing slats.

My child and I have enjoyed this series since the first book, Lazy Larry Lizard, came out shortly after the release of the first iPad. At the time, it seemed revolutionary. Lazy Larry Lizard was one of the books I would show people who wanted to see what I meant when I said, "The iPad is going to change the way children read books ... forever." The reaction Read more …

Elly Book 10 by Dipali Vaidya

This is a winter/holiday themed title from the popular Elly book series from Jon Higham. It is perfect for both pre-readers and learner readers, with simple but engaging text (although it does not highlight as narrated). Elly is a sweet character with lots of forest friends that help her out in every episode. In this title, Elly meets a polar bear that needs help getting back home. All the friends work to help the lost bear find his way and in the end the whole group gets to travel to see the northern lights. Featuring light animation & simple interactivity, this is a great title for bedtime or anytime for ages 2-6. Featuring lovely narration by Rose Higham and a simple, but well-made Read more …

Loris and the Runaway Ball by Pointed Stories

This unique little book takes on the topic of safety and gives children choices within the story that give it a "choose-your-own-adventure" quality. It is an educational title with a really appealing way of giving children control over how the story progresses. At the beginning of the story, Loris and her brother are playing catch, but when the ball rolls into the street, Loris needs to 'choose' someone to ask for help, either a neighbor, her brother or her dad. 

All three 'choices' change the story for three pages and then all three return the reader to the same point to finish the story. The three choices are all 'good' solutions to the problem of retrieving the lost ball across the Read more …

The Adventures of Peter Pan by Chocolapps SAS

The Adventures of Peter Pan is a nicely abridged retelling of a classic tale. It captures the magic of Neverland, the Lost Boys, pirates and the boy who would never grow up. The highlight of a classic tale like this, when presented by So Ouat!, is the animated storytelling. Characters in the book act out the scenes from each page in short inset videos next to the text. There isn't anything interactive about the illustrations, although tapping the screen does stop and start the narration (which highlights as read).

The only true interactivity present in this book is in the 'extras' - a unique drop down of each page's text that can be explored with several words Read more …

Land of Mislaid, an interactive children's story by YipYip

In Land of Mislaid by developer YipYip, Hannah is spending time with her grandpa when she realizes that her peppermint has gone missing. Grandpa, who may be covering the fact that he ate her peppermint, suggests that the candy decided to travel to the Land of Mislaid. They then take an imaginative journey, interacting with various characters created from items lying around the living room. A teapot, cups, spoons, and lamps all help direct the travelers through their journey. I will not spoil how the story ends, but it is a unique and imaginative tale.

Like most book apps, this one offers the option of text only or having the narration read aloud. There is no Auto Play option, Read more …

The Lost Dinosaur Bone - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
The Lost Dinosaur Bone by Mercer Mayer is one of the new adventure titles in the Little Critter series, published in print in 2007. In this title, Little Critter goes with his class on a trip to the Museum of Natural History. The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find all 19 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 Read more …