Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Young readers will love learning with Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today? (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat). This non-fiction title, published first in print in 2004, was created to give children ages 5-8 the chance to explore the exciting world of weather and the study of it, meteorology. 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 animation and Read more …

Auryn – Van Gogh and the Sunflowers by Auryn, Inc

Van Gogh and the Sunflowers is an extraordinary app with unique interactivity. The characters in this book, based on a gorgeous print title published in 2007, are all in motion. Characters in the story run, work and paint in scenes that can also be viewed (just tap the settings button) with their inner-workings exposed. You can see the mechanism behind the motion in a way that is very similar to Three Little Pigs and the Secrets of a Popup Book - a very cool effect.

The book is about a boy named Camille who lives in a village where sunflowers grow wild. One day a strange man arrives in town and begins to paint. Camille's family befriends the poor traveler, Vincent van Read more …

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 …

Amico Ragnolo by Small Bytes Digital

Amico Ragnolo, from Small Bytes Digital, was shortlisted in 2014 for the Bologna Digital Ragazzi Award. It is an original story, based on an Italian children's book of the same name. In English, the title is "My Friend the Spider" and it is about a duck that befriends a rather talented spider (along the line of Charlotte's Web). Ragnolo can make his web into many things, including the Eiffel Tower or even a sword for play-fighting with his new ornithological friend.

The app is well made although it lacks any settings to disable the background music from the narration. It also contains two cute games, Dot-to-Dot and Web Checkers (actually a memory Simon-style game). The games are embedded in Read more …

Hurray for Today! (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Young readers will love learning with Hurray for Today! (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat). This non-fiction title, published first in print in 2004, was created to give children ages 5-8 the chance to learn about the origin of US holidays, 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 animation and interactivity along Read more …

Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry? (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Young readers will love learning with Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry? (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat). This non-fiction title, published first in print in 2011, was created to give children ages 5-8 the chance to explore the exciting world of sea creatures, 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 animation Read more …

Violet and the Mystery Next Door - Interactive ... by Black Dog Books, LLC

Violet and the Mystery Next Door is the most recent book in the "Violet" series of ebooks. These books are a unique series with interactivity that is integrated nicely into the storyline. The series stars a little girl who wants to be a detective, searching for clues and solving mysteries. In this winter-themed book she meets a partner in crime-solving, a neighbor boy named Maxwell who goes by "Maxman".

This series of titles is well made, engaging the reader in the story's plot. The interactive clues are set up in a very thoughtful way that draws the child into the story itself. In this book the reader even gets to make decisions at several points along the way, giving the book a Read more …

The Kissing Hand by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Based on the 1993 print title, this is an exceptional book app. It stands out not only for its digital charms, but for the role the story has played in comforting young children dealing with separation anxiety for two decades. This Oceanhouse Media title tells the tale of young Chester, a raccoon who is feeling nervous about going to school. "Please may I stay with you?" he begs his mother. She tells him about all the wonderful experiences and friendships he will make at school, but also responds to Chester's heartbreaking plea, sharing a 'secret' he can cherish even when he is far away from home.

The story is well crafted and beautifully imagined in illustrated form. A touching Read more …

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, from Canadian app developer Loud Crow Interactive, is a universal app and an adaptation of the classic Halloween story from Charles M. Schulz. If you are looking for a slice of Halloween nostalgia you need look no further. It has the orignal music, artwork and dialog from the TV Special and is narrated by Peter Robbins the original voice of Charlie Brown.  You can switch the narration off, and control the background music level independently. The words are highlighted as it is read, and touching individual words makes them be spoken too.

The app opens to a old record player playing a record of the soundtrack and you then open a book to Read more …

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, by Loud Crow, has taken book apps to a completely new level of sophistication! There’s so much to love about this app. From the opening screen, right to the end we were LOLing and smiling and were delighted when kids who didn’t know the characters were too!

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the fourth Peanuts television special to be given an interactive spin from Loud Crow, an award-winning children’s interactive publisher based in Vancouver, BC. And believe you me, this is one app that will not disappoint!

Inside the app the pages are packed with Charlie Brown’s darling trials and tribulations. You’ll Read more …

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

This is a top notch holiday app from Loud Crow Interactive, makers of the popular PopOut series. This app has a similar format with an assortment of fun additional interactive elements, like helping Linus throw snowballs or getting Charlie Brown to peer into his empty mailbox. Text is in several layers on many pages, with original voices from the Christmas special narrating the story as it highlights word-for-word. Lovers of the original Christmas special will want to download this title right away ... it is such a treat! If you haven't seen the special (meaning you've been living under a rock for the past 50 years), you will also not want to miss this spectactular title. Play jingle bells Read more …

The Fall Festival - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Fall Festival by Mercer Mayer is one of the holiday-themed Little Critter titles, published in print in 2009 as part of the "New Adventures" series. The whole family is getting ready for a local festival in this book, detailing traditional activites from a fall country fair, like making apple cider, going on hayrides and even catapulting pumpkins . The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find 16 spiders and 16 little mice hidden with the illustrations of 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 Read more …

Collins Big Cat: Playing 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. Playing, based on the print title by Tim Hopgood, was published in 2010. According to the description:

"It's fun to play outside, and these three children enjoy it in all seasons, summer, autumn, winter and spring - whatever the weather! Each season is evocatively illustrated by Tim Hopgood - 2008 winner of Booktrust's Best Emerging Illustrator Award, developing the text and encouraging discussion." [Source: Amazon]

In digital form, this series features light Read more …

Biscuit Gives a Gift by zuuka incorporated

This is an adorable book based on a print series popular over the last decade. Little Biscuit is a cute puppy who helps his little girl deliver presents to all their friends one snowy day. From wrapped packages to birdseed for their feathered friends, this duo shows the spirit of giving. This app is beautifully illustrated with light animations that are triggered by tapping the images. Text highlights as narrated and has simple sentence structure perfect for young learner readers. There is also a selection of extras including coloring pages, memory game & stickerbook. Children will also love the hidden bones on almost every page for the challenge to find them all for Biscuit.

This title Read more …

Elly Book 11 - Elly goes camping by Dipali Vaidya

Elly the Reindeer is a cute cartoon-style reindeer. She has adventures with her animal friends in a sweet rural setting where all the child-like characters live in their own homes (by themselves) and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story, Elly and her friends go camping in the "Feelgood Forest". Her friend Fin brings his guitar, which plays a lovely tune when tapped. A sound in the night wakes everyone up but is resolved in a feel good way that will bring sweet dreams.

This cute series of books is wonderful for preschoolers and they all make sweet bedtime books. They are simple enough for learner readers to read to themselves. This book series Read more …

Frozen: Storybook Deluxe by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Disney brings their film adaptation of Frozen to life in this digital book, pairing animated clips from the feature film alongside a nicely abridged version of the movie's plot. This app is a real treat that includes much more than a book, providing lots of entertainment for young readers in the form of games, puzzles and coloring pages based on the hit movie, released this year (2013).

My child, like most, loves Disney films, so he was delighted to see a few animated scenes from the movie interspersed throughout the book. This is one of the ways this storybook stands out from many of the other movie-themed book apps available. This title also has a nice choice of settings, letting you Read more …

Chipper's Rainy Day by

With polished animation, delightful interactivity and a short but sweet adventure story, Chipper's Rainy Day, has everything a young reader could wish for in a storybook app. Every one of the pages has animated and interactive elements featuring an adorable mouse-character named Chipper.

It is a rainy day and Chipper is excited ... but readers need to help him decide what to do next. As the story progresses, four opportunities are presented that let the reader 'choose their own adventure' by picking one of three options. This gives children a wonderful way to engage with the story. It also gives this app exceptional re-play value. The choices are whimsical, too ... like building a fort Read more …

Splish! Splash! Splosh! HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

This is another beautifully illustrated title from Gina Ricci, author of Far to the North. Like her other digital book apps, this one is a short but beautiful tale. It is about a little girl named Sophie, her cat Sam and a lot of raindrops and puddles. It has all the trappings of a good children's picture book. It is filled with gorgeous illustrations and a sweet, lyrical story perfect for reading (or listening), even at bedtime.

Splish! Splash! Splosh! is also lightly animated and interactive, just enough to engage young readers without distracting from the story. Rain drops fall in most scenes and if you tap on the pictures, you can hear splashing or the meow of little Sam, Read more …

PopOut! The Night Before Christmas by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

W. W. Denslow's beautiful illustrations come to life in this classic Christmas tale by Clement Moore. The turn-of-the-last-century images manage to capture a certain kind of nostalgia while utterly transforming the genre of pop-up books at the same time. This title is not quite as stunning as Loud Crow's "Peter Rabbit" (how can you top bursting berries?), but it still remains the top choice for an interactive "Night Before Christmas". Delightful interactive & animated elements are peppered throughout the pages. Young children may find this interactivity distracting from the old-fashioned story, yet this app has the unique ability to draw the very youngest and oldest readers together for Read more …

Little Fox Music Box – Kids songs – Sing along - Christmas Version by Fox and Sheep GmbH

Little Fox Music Box – Kids Songs – Sing along, by the incredibly talented author Heidi Wittlinger, an Oscar nominated artist, and the developer, goodbeans, has just been updated. This songbook app now fully supports the Retina display of the New iPad and “WOW-O-WOW” is all we can say! Never do the interactions deter from the music, they are divinely subtle and compliment every note sung!

This app is a sing-along songbook featuring more than 100 interactive elements and incorporating 3 songs, which guarantee to bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike! It is brought to you by the team that created the bestselling app “Nighty Night.” Read more …

Tacky and the Winter Games by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The winter games have come to the nice icy land ... and Tacky and his brood are competing against rivals from the Highlands, Lowlands and more. But will they win a medal? It seems at first that having an 'odd bird' on their team is working against them. In the end, Tacky's unconventional approach is a winning one, although not before several hilarious plot twists.

Like other omBooks from Oceanhouse Media, this title is solidly made with simple swipe-style page turning. It would benefit from the addition of a page guide, but is otherwise easily navigated by little fingers. The story, by Helen Lester, is beloved in print, published in 2005. The digital version is no exception, only Read more …

Books for Kids: At the beach by FUDEA-IIE-UFRO

At the Beach or En La Playa is a delightful digital title for the iPad. It is filled with lovely beach scenes that depict a typical day at the ocean's edge. Every page is full of animated sea creatures & birds, along with interactive elements that animate briefly. The book also has a nice assortment of activities at the end that include reading comprehension questions and other education activities related to an ocean theme.

The story itself is very short, but tells a poem-like tale about a day at the beach. The interactivity ties nicely to each page's text, although there isn't a lot of 'plot' to reinforce. There is a sand castle you can tap to see it fall (or be built), boats that Read more …

A Word's a Bird by Syntonie & Actialuna

A Word’s a Bird, Spring Flies By In Rhymes by French developer Syntonie, the publishing imprint of Actialuna, SAS, brings Caldecott Award-quality to the iPad. The app includes sections for April, May, and June, as well as a “take off” poem that introduces the poetry collections’ shared theme. To visit the poem for each month from the splash screen simply tap on the square with the month’s name. After doing so the reader encounters the poem for the given month as well as an accompanying animation. 

The four poems, which the reader can enjoy in English or French, remain accessible to children even while employing poetic techniques including meter, rhyme, and Read more …

Snowflakes Are Falling HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

Snowflakes are Falling is a simple storybook app about a young girl and her cat, and the adventures they have while playing in the snow. This is a beautifully illustrated story with distinct audio narration. Children will be enchanted by the falling snowflakes and the cute audio sounds when certain characters are touched on the screen.

PicPocket Books brings quality children's picture book literature to digital media. This interactive children's storybook app promotes early learning and helps your children develop reading skills by connecting the audio words and sounds with the written word on the page. This is a lovely picture book with audio recordings and interactive visual text, 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 …

Tacky’s Christmas by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

It's Christmas time in the nice icy land where Tacky and his fellow penguins celebrate the holiday season. They wrap presents, decorate their igloos and sing holiday songs. But Tacky gets stuck in an ice chimney, practicing to be Santa this year, along with lots of other holiday-themed shenanigans. When unexpected guests (the hunters) join the festivities, Tacky stands up to them. In the end the hunters join the penguins for a fishy feast in the spirit of Christmas goodwill. Solidly made OM Book from Oceanhouse Media.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter holidays, 2011.

Auracle – The Trees Grin Beside Me by Auryn, Inc

This is a poem-like story with light interactivity and unique personalization settings. It is told in the first person by a little girl who is exploring a forest. Images depict each of the seasons while the little girl compares her own body to the trees around her, seeing the connectedness of nature.

This book was published first in print in 2010 and features rhyming text by Michelle Macdonald. The trees are depicted with expressive faces that will appeal to kids in the richly colored illustrations by Leah Davis. Users can edit the text of the book to change it or rewrite the story in its entirety, as well as record their own narration. Each page can also be tapped to see Read more …

Auracle HD – Winter Is by Auryn, Inc

Cute storybook about the excitement of a chilly Northwest winter by Puget Sound native and Alaska resident, Ann Dixon. Wonderful educational enhancements are the main perk of Auryn Apps digital re-imagining of this 2002 print title. Words highlight as narrated word-for-word & interactivity is strictly informational. Tap any word in the text to hear the audio again or tap any image to hear and see the word. Color-drenched illustrations & nice page-layouts in this digital title make for one very nice seasonal read.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter holidays, 2011.

Chrissie's Shell HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

Published in print in fall of 2010, Chrissie's Shell is about a little turtle living in the forest. She admires all the other creatures and often wishes she was something else. But in the end, God reminds her that every creature on earth is special and just needs to be the best at being themselves.

This is a lightly enhanced digital offering from the PicPocket Books collection. It makes a fabulous bedtime read and is a top pick of my little boy for reading together. It isn't interactive but has subtle animations throughout. These books don't leap off the page, but the storytelling is superb along with wonderful illustrations that make for an ideal picture book for kids.

This title Read more …

The Little Brown Bear Interactive Picture Book by BAYARD PRESSE

The Little Brown Bear Interactive Picture Book,by Bayard Press, is a gentle and easily assessable app for toddlers to learn about everyday routines, celebrations, and the changing of the seasons. There are six scenes and 4 choices within each scene to help build vocabulary and acquaint little ones with what there is to see and explore in their ever changing and broadening view of the world. The six scenes are: Animals, The House, Family Fun, Holidays (vacations), Outings, and even The Four Seasons. In The House, there is the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room. Add it all up and there are 24 different environments with over 250 vocabulary words to learn!

By tapping on any of the Read more …

Snow Globes 3D! ~ 3D & 2D interactive storybook by See Here Studios LLC

A lightly animated title with lots of fun interactive elements spread throughout this 3D (red/blue glasses required) digital gem of a title. The story touches on the highlights of the Christmas holiday season, from lighting the big tree in New York City to exploring the snowy forest, this book covers it all. From See Here Studios, this is a solidly made and festive holiday offering. A great choice for getting kids excited about all the rituals of the holiday season, from baking cookies to waiting for Santa.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter holidays, 2011.

Santa's Suit is Missing! by Ginger Whale Pty. Ltd.

Featuring an original storyline for a Christmas tale, along with lovely (although limited) enhancements ... this app is a must-download for the season of Santa! It begins in the first person, telling a tale that puts the reader into the driver's seat - readers enter their name for personalization of the message. You are an elf on the most important day of the year - Chirstmas Eve. You must help Santa while all the other elves are asleep, giving them an advantage.

When Santa needs an elf, your "elf phone" makes a sound and you're off! Santa needs you to get dressed and this is where the app get's interesting. Children can choose one of several differnt suit ideas, including a Viking, Read more …

Jingle All The Way HD by Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Jingle is an adorable husky pup that loves all the children who go to Pineville Elementary School. But Jingle doesn't have a home of his own. He follows the children all the way to their bus stops and doors but when they tell him to be a good dog and 'go home' he doesn't have anywhere to go. The story has a heartwarming ending, though, courtesy of Santa's intervention. This Hallmark book app is intended to work in conjunction with their 'story buddy' stuffed animal of Jingle, but other than a brief mention of the toy at the beginning of the book, this book app is delightful all by itself. The app is very lightly animated, narrated and includes the ability to record your own narration. Also Read more …

Oh The Snowmanity! HD by David Gregory

Oh The Snowmanity! by David Gregory - Stoopid Books - is an original and unique winter tale about what it truly feels like to be a snowman. A great cheerful interactive book app, perfect to read along with your tweens (Kids aged 9 to 12) on those long winter snowy days! With stunning illustrations and lots of humour we are sure your kids will like it as much as ours!

This is an original, clever and funny storybook book app perfect for a great time reading with the kids! It offers an original rhyming story about what it may feel like to be a snowman… Nothing like in the movie as reality turns out to be fairly troublesome. We also liked the unique artwork and Read more …

Trick or Treat: Picture Me® by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

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.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Tilly Witch - Don Freeman's classic Halloween story book for kids (iPad version, by Auryn Apps) by Auryn, Inc

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.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Elly Book 6 by Dipali Vaidya

The Elly books, by Jon Higham, have gotten a makeover! Each title now has the lovely narration of Rose Higham, "a drama student and the author’s niece." The text doesn't highlight as read, but it is otherwise perfect now for pre-readers. 

Elly the Reindeer is a cute cartoon-style reindeer. She has adventures with her animal friends in a sweet rural setting where all the child-like characters live in their own homes and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story Elly and her friends have a snowman building competition.

Elly can't decide what to make for the contest, but she admires all the snowmen her friends have created. When it suddenly Read more …

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Movie Storybook & Cloudy 2 Children's Activity Book by zuuka incorporated

Flint Lockwood dreams of becoming a great scientist and in this classic storybook app he discovers a way to make food rain from the sky. An intrepid reporter named Sam Sparks arrives to cover the news event, creating the perfect storm for a recipe that ends in romance. Since the publication in 1978 of this fabulous tale, young readers have been enthralled. This movie-themed app is not animated or interactive, but does feature crisp images from the film. It provides a simple reading (or listening) experience that will reinforce the movie or prepare young children for what to expect before going to the theater.

Fans of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series, will enjoy this title Read more …

Leafy, the Leaf Who Wouldn't Leave by KwiqApps Inc.

Leafy is a sweet little book about a leaf (with expressive eyes and mouth) that doesn't want to blow away in the Autumn with all the other leaves. He watches the world below and enjoys seeing so many things from up high. Eventually the wind does blow hard enough to detach him from his branch. He sees even more of the beautiful world by swirling on the breeze. And when a gust blows him into an open window, he finds a perfect place to rest in the scrapbook of a young boy who loves him.

This digital book is well made with simple settings, easy page turn with arrows, nice narration, and vibrant illustrations. My son really enjoyed reading this tale with me and it is a great choice for bedtime. Read more …

Torii’s Summer Adventure – Interactive Storybook for Kids and Dog Lovers by Christopher Black

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.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Note to readers: This rating was expedited by the developer for a small fee. The content of the rating/review is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized.

Aesop's Thinking: The Ants and the Grasshopper by Oddeye Co., Ltd.

This version of Aesop's The Ant & the Grasshopper is one of many digital books featuring Aesop's fables to debut on the iPad. There is a WIDE variation in the quality of digital book apps based on public domain stories like Aesop & Grimm Brother's tales. Many are not even narrated by native speakers or have syntax, grammar or other linguistic errors in the text of the stories.

This tale, however, is not only free (it's the first release in a series called Aesop's Thinking that retails currently for $4.99), but is also an excellent remake of the classic story. The wording is odd a couple times (the grasshopper will 'drop tears' instead of 'cry' if he doesn't prepare for winter, Read more …

Billy and the Snowman HD - an interactive Christmas tale by chris ventress

This is an adorable little tale about a boy named Billy who is very excited for Christmas. But his long list of the presents he most desires turns out to be much less important to him than getting Santa to bring a carrot to complete his snowman. Just as requested, Billy finds a carrot in his stocking and is delighted to give his precious snowman a way to breathe. The app has lots of interactive elements for young readers to play with, although most are not related to the storyline. Text is in an easy to read font (although it does not highlight as narrated) with simple arrow page turns. Featuring nice illustrations and narration, this is a sweet tale to share during the holidays.

This title Read more …

Advent Calendar 2011 by JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy

Advent calendars are often associated with chocolate treats these days, but the original calendars that date back centuries often contained stories for each day of the countdown to Christmas. This calendar doesn't have chocolate (that would be a neat trick for an iPad though), but it does have interactive scenes, stories & poems for each day, numbered in small windows on the main page. From the "Gift of the Magi" to "Silent Night, Holy Night" this calendar has an exciting assortment of stories, songs and poems to make your holiday celebrations brighter. The app itself is solidly made with simple swipe-style page turning and nice sound effects. There is no narration for the stories, but Read more …

Auracle - Love You to the Moon & Back by Auryn, Inc

This inspirational little book is filled with warm illustrations that evoke a simpler time along with lyrical text that reads like a poem or love letter. The book is very short but can be personalized with your own text and narration. It also features lovely narration that highlights as read and simple, but intuitive settings.

The book is not animated but does have a little interactivity. If you tap on many of the images, a word briefly appears to represent that image along with audio voice-over. This solidly made book also has easy-to-read text suitable for young readers, along with swipe-style page turning.

Personalization settings allow the user to enter their own text & narration Read more …

Reindeers! by Zidware

This cute, although very short, storybook with three different Christmas songs to play in the background as the story is narrated nicely. There isn't anything interactive in the simple storybook, but it is festive, full of brightly colored graphics and solidly made with an easy to read font (no highlighting) & simple arrow page-turning. This title is also lightly animated with moving snowflakes and has a fun extra - a sticker storybook with lots of stickers to place on several Christmas scenes with reindeer, Santa, elves and more.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter holidays, 2011.

The Little Bug by Jaclyn Littman

The Little Bug by Jaclyn Littman is a stellar work of art created by this MICA grad student as her MFA thesis project! Wow, glad to see students and schools getting up to speed with tech and all the possibilities of graphic design in the future. The Little Bug app beautifully showcases original cut-paper illustrations, engaging interactivity, and fab narration.

This is a class app! Oh, and did we mention the original sound track? Joshua Cipolla is responsible for the jaunty music. This app was designed for ages 3 and up, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out, it is virtually for all ages. The Little Bug is a terrific lesson Read more …

Wuwu & Co. - A magical picture book by Step In Books ApS

Welcome to Wuwu's adventure! This lovely app was a CYBILS short-list nominee for best book app in 2015. Pick up this book and explore, like a window on a storytelling world. This app is an exceptional example of digital innovation. The story begins with simple text and narration (no highlighting word-for-word) but this is just the beginning of your adventure.

On the next page, the reader is instructed to 'pick up the book and look around'. Doing so with the iPad is ingenious, showing off the rooms of the house as the device is shifted, pointing into many creative spaces within the scene. Look above, below and behind you to reveal the whole space as if you were standing in the middle of it Read more …