The Trip Little Critter Reading Adventure by Baker & Taylor, Inc.

Based on Mercer Mayer's original illustrations of the "Critter" family on a road trip, The Trip: Little Critter Reading Adventure, is truly just that - a reading adventureWhile adults delight in the familiar characters and storyline, a whole new generation of Little Critter fans is virtually guaranteed with engaging apps like this one, created by Silver Dolphin Books.

Mayer originally wrote "The Trip" as an ABC style book in 1988 before its more familiar edition in 1997 that edited it down significantly. This app is based on the later edition, with wonderful enhancements that take young readers ages 2-6 on more than just a figurative adventure, by Read more …

Auracle HD - Miko "Goes on Vacation" by Auryn, Inc

The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have been among my child's favorites in print for many years, all 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 and his mom go to the beach. Feeling nervous about being someplace new where he doesn't know anyone, Miko begins to worry that he shouldn't leave Mimiki alone, even to go swimming.

In a lovely plot twist, Miko finds his own solution by reaching out to another child, under a neighboring beach umbrella. He asks the little girl to watch Mimiki for him. Read more …

Roxie's a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure by oc graphics

Based on the print books by Roxie Munro, this game app is a unique title that offers literally hours of entertainment to children (and adults) with a variety of challenges that require attention to detail and problem solving skills. Search & find titles have been popular in print for a long time, but this one is even more engaging in digital form. It is hard to believe these images weren't originally designed for the iPad.

There are 16 different segments to the map that you can drag a little car through or even get out and walk to explore. The illustrations are delightful and so detailed that you notice something new with every replay of this extraordinary title. Offering Read more …

How I Became a Pirate by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

How I Became a Pirate is based on the print title of the same name, published in 2003 by Melinda Long with illustrations by Caldecott Honor-winner David Shannon (for the 1998 classic, No David!). With expert word craft, timing and overall storytelling genius, Long weaves a tale about young Jeremy, a boy on a beach trip with his family. Without a word to his distracted parents, Jeremy joins a band of pirates to help them bury treasure. The adventure is wish-fulfillment at its very best for readers of all ages, as the boy teaches the pirates about soccer, learns to sail the stormy seas and even has a pirate pillow fight. It's not surprising that this title received many accolades in Read more …

Finn's Paper Hat HD by Tizio BV

Finn's Paper hat is a charming, original storybook app about a little boy and his newspaper hat. Little Finn has a wild imagination, taking the reader on a trip sailing the seas. Subtle interactivity and animation make the story come alive on every page with unique things to tap and explore. You can tap to create more snow, hear the whale talk or to get Finn's boat to sail across the sea. And on the final page, my favorite, you can drag the sun right out of the sky to reveal a moonlit night, filling it with flickering stars everywhere you tap.

The well-crafted story is told as much through the illustrations as the text, featuring a combination of line drawings and 'newspaper' print. The Read more …

Lulu in Australia by ZANZIBOOK

Lulu is a little French girl who goes on adventures around the world with her cat, Zazou. This story is about their first trip in the series ... to Australia. The book is lightly animated and full of delightful interactivity that makes the reader a part of the story. Almost every page has elements to tap that move the story along or provide additional dialogue and information about the part of the world they are exploring.

The app is well made with lots of features, including a map that allows you to explore the story of their Australian travels in a non-linear way. The text doesn't highlight as read, but it is in a clear, easy to read font ideal for young readers. This book also features Read more …

Lulu in the Amazon by ZANZIBOOK

Lulu is a little French girl who goes on many adventures around the world with her cat, Zazou. This story is about their third trip in the series ... to the Amazon. These titles are lightly animated and full of interactivity elements that draw the reader into the story. Every page has elements to tap that move the story along or provide additional dialogue and information about the part of the world they are exploring. A small green bird can also be found in every scene. This series is also packed with games. Help Lulu fish, make a feather headdress or even write a souvenir postcard to a friend (Note: This feature uses your email account).

This app is well made with lots of features, Read more …

Lulu in Polynesia by ZANZIBOOK

Lulu is a little French girl who goes on many adventures around the world with her cat, Zazou. This story is about their second trip in the series ... to French Polynesia. The pair arrive by air, this time parachuting onto the islands. This title is lightly animated and full of interactivity that makes the reader a part of the story. Every page has elements to tap that move the story along or provide additional dialogue and information about the part of the world they are exploring. A small pink bird can also be found in every scene. Watch Lulu dance, help her prepare a Tahitian salad and even write a souvenir postcard to a friend (Note: This feature uses your email account).

This app is Read more …

Tacky Goes to Camp by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The first Tacky the Penguin book was published in print in 1990. This title, about the 'odd bird' going to camp, came out in print in 2009. After reading any one of the "Tacky" books, it isn't difficult to understand why this character would be popular decades later. Tacky always stands out from the other penguins for being a little bit different. But with siblings named Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect, this is a family in need of a little trouble-making.

Tacky's non-conformism comes in handy of course. This time a bear threatens to eat the birds one night and Tacky scares him away simply by stumbling around with his sleeping bag over his head. He may not be Perfect, but Read more …

Just A Day at the Pond - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
Just A Day at the Pond - Little Critter by Mercer Mayer is one of the "New Adventures" with Little Critter and his family, published in print in 2008. In this title, Little Critter and his family visit their grandparents where they spend a day at the pond. Featuring a swimming hole, fishing and lots of pond life like frogs. The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find all 24 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 Read more …
Just Grandma and Me - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1983. It is a beloved story about 'Little Critter' and a trip he takes with Grandma to the beach. He is a cheery companion as he 'helps' by washing the sand off her hot dog in the ocean. He also almost blows away with the beach umbrella and gets to bury Grandma in the sand. She shows good cheer and tireless patience with her favorite little guy.

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 Read more …

Finding Frankie Frog by Verlag Friedrich Oetinger GmbH

Finding Frankie Frog is an adorable storybook in digital form, featuring light animation and interactivity that enhances the story. For a free app, this is an extraordinary find! But even if it were a paid download, this book app has a lot to offer, including puzzles and a fun storyline that children will enjoy.

The story follows the hide 'n seek game of 6 friends: Billy Beaver, Pinky Pig, Elvis Elephant, Robbie Rabbit, Harry Hedgehog and Frankie Frog. In just five short pages, this delightfully interactive title has the group of friends playing a game where they try to find each other's hiding spots. As each character finds one of the friends, the person who is 'it' and everyone who has Read more …

The Lettermen go to the Circus by Stefan Nowak

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' going to the circus. 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 educational Read more …

The Lettermen go to a Castle by Stefan Nowak

This tale has the 'lettermen' going on a trip to visit a castle. Like the other "Lettermen" books (found under the category 'Education'), this book 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. These titles are very appealing to kids and the characters all have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.

The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The Lettermen was a series of books first created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 2005. According to the Read more …

The Lettermen go on a Picnic by Stefan Nowak

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' going on a picnic. 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 educational Read more …

The Lettermen go in a plane by Stefan Nowak

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' going in a plane. 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 educational system or Read more …

The Lettermen go to the Zoo by Stefan Nowak

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' going to the zoo. 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 educational Read more …

The Lettermen go to the Seaside 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' going on vacation or 'holiday' as they say in Europe. The narration is a British English speaker and 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 Read more …

An Amazing Day At The Zoo by Imaginatronics LLC

This educational app is filled with over a dozen detailed, educational descriptions of zoo animals. In a window on each page, there is a video showing the animal in its natural environment. The videos play silently with a background of assorted animal noises. Each page is narrated by a little girl named Sarah who adds personal commentary to many of the stops throughout this 'zoo trip'. Videos can be seen in full screen mode with a quick two finger gesture, although the image is less clear in the larger view.

I found the narration nice enough, but it was a little too enthusiastic in a way that becomes grating on the listener over time. The book is educational though, and my son and I Read more …

Photo Tales - Create Photo Stories with Your Kids by tho pham

PhotoTales by Tho Pham is an app for iOS which allows your family to customize a story with your photos and images based on the text provided.  For the purposes of this review, I looked at “A Happy Day in the Zoo” which I customized to be about a recent family trip to the zoo using included images and my own personal photos to make the story more interesting and help to engage my son.  The first time we created the story, my son and I did it together using photos from my iPhone as well as those I stored on our Bevy to pull into the book.  We completed it together and then saved it off to our computer.  The second time I did the same book, I was Read more …

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Car Trip by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

There have been hundreds of Berenstain Bears stories published since the first one debuted 1962. Too Much Car Trip is one of HarperCollins square paperback series, published in 2009. 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 …

The Monster Fish - Animated Storybook and Game by Shaun Chapman

The Monster Fish is the first storybook app from developer Squeeze Games. It makes quite an impressive entry with its stunning 3D graphics, beautiful animations, entertaining story and an excellent narrating voice. The Monster Fish follows the Wendell family (Dad, Mom, Sam, and Katy) on their camping adventure. One Day, Dad, Sam and Katy go on a boat to try and catch some fish for dinner. Katy hooks a monster fish that jumps out the water. Dad, Sam, and Katy are mesmerized as the fish appears to stop and float in mid-air for a few seconds before jumping back in the water.

Upon returning to camp, they excitedly tell Mom about the monster fish. Mom, however, finds it hard to believe such an Read more …


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