Make A Song by Gorilla Band 2 - 3D story book with Music by Wasabi Productions Pty Ltd

Are you looking for an app with stunning 3D graphics and the ability to wow young readers? Well, look no further. The gorillas are back and they're making more music with the inspiration of their natural environment. From lightning to rain and even the fluttering of insects, these young musicians find sounds they can mimic and enhance with their own instruments. This tale begins with Pricilla Gorilla, who is upset when her portable music player has dead batteries. How can she listen to music now? The music teacher has an idea, "Music's always around you, wherever you go. It's the wind in the trees and the flutter and flap. It's the sound of the jungle - there's music in Read more …

Angelina Ballerina’s New Dance Teacher by HIT Entertainment

Now Universal App! Angelina Ballerina is an adorable mouse who loves to dance, appearing for the first time in 1983 in a series of 20 books by Katherine Holabird and Helen Craig. This app is based on the TV series that began in 2009 on PBS and was digitally animated, making for a perfect 'transmedia' presentation as an interactive digital book. Each page of this well-produced app has stunning animation that is triggered by the tap of a finger, letting children bring their favorite characters to life in a way that is breathtaking within the otherwise still page.

In this story, Angelina gets a new ballet teacher, Miss Mimi, and learns a lot about opening herself up to new ideas about dance. Read more …

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Spelling Bee by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

In this exceptional Berenstain Bears title, one of my personal favorites, sister bear becomes the star of her elementary school's spelling bee, getting a chance to go on to the Bear Country "All Schools" competition. But she doesn't want to let her soccer team down, and participating in the spelling bee will get in the way of regular practices for her team. Ultimately, her parents let her decide in this wonderful book app about decision-making and priorities that young children and their parents will readily identify with ...

Sister bear is excited to be in the spelling bee, but perhaps Papa is actually living vicariously through her accomplishments, putting a bit too much pressure on her Read more …

Smarty Britches: Verbs by Cyndie Sebourn

Created by Cyndie Sebourn, a former teacher, this app is part of a series of apps that focus on grammar and are aligned with common core state standards in the US. It is a solid education app, with all the enhancements that make a storybook engaging to digital natives. Each page contains a rich assortment of activities and interactive content, including Spanish translation for many parts of the story (under the phrase "secret language").

The first book in this series was Smarty Britches: Nouns. In this title we once again meet Wyatt, a young boy with a pair of colorful pants he calls his 'smarty britches'. Wyatt takes readers on a tour of his hometown in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. We 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 …

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 …

Heidi story collection - 3 in 1 by JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy

JustKidsApps has recently completely updated its Heidi apps and while doing so have also created The Heidi Story Collection – an app that combines all three Heidi books in one. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the classic tale of Heidi, the story was written by Johanna Spyri and was first published in 1880.

Now prepare yourselves, as I suspect that the word ‘charming’ is going to be over-used in this review. Heidi is a little girl who charms those around her with her genuine spirit and happy nature. It’s a lovely story of resilience and loyalty that has lasted throughout the years. So it was really pleasing to me to find that this app has been created with Read more …

Elly Book 2 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 gets another mysterious letter in her mailbox. It says "School today at 9:00am - be there prompt at the old oak tree." It was signed simply with the letter "O".

Elly packs a lunch and some school supplies and hurries off to the old oak tree. Along the way, she asks each of her friends about the note. No one seems to know who "O" is, but everyone got the same notice to show up for school. When they all arrive Read more …

The Artifacts by Dan Hare

"Once there was a boy who loved to collect," begins this unique digital book. Asaf is an enigma to his family, amassing so many objects that it borders on hoarding. When the family prepares to move to a new house, his parents get rid of everything Asaf has collected, everything he loves. This begins a new chapter for the young man, one of collecting dreams, ideas and knowledge.

When the family arrives in their new home, Asaf's mother & father tell him, "This is your new bedroom. Keep it tidy." This act of parental misunderstanding and betrayal is experienced by Asaf in scenes that perfectly convey the darkness and rebellion of adolescence ... with handwritten words appearing Read more …

Starting Shakespeare by Beyond the Backyard Productions Pty Ltd

Starting Shakespeare, by Deeper Richer, is a brilliant new addition to the app store; this 21st century rendition would make William proud. This app does what most teachers fail to do, make Shakespeare easily accessible to younger students and clarify the story-lines without ever giving up any of Shakespeare’s original integrity.

Starting Shakespeare explores both the world and work of William Shakespeare using two of his best-loved and most popular plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth. I admire this Australian based development team for producing this state of the art teaching tool and hope to spread the word far and wide. Get this this one out to the kids! Read more …

Smarty Britches: Nouns by Cyndie Sebourn

A young boy with a pair of colorful pants he calls his 'smarty britches', takes readers on a tour of his hometown in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. This colorful learning adventure is a series of scenes from a young boy's rural life in the southern United States. He names each of the things he loves in his environment, teaching young learners about nouns along the way. Discover the People, Animals, Things, Places & Ideas that make up a child's world in this story app.

Nice features include a page guide (with game pages), instructions and lots of educational enhancements. Text highlighting is phrase-by-phrase, and while word-by-word would be ideal, this is a nice way to keep young Read more …

Wee You-Things by Wee Society LLC

Wee You-Things, by Wee Society LLC, is exactly the kind of book we need to read to our children to help instill 21st century character traits of acceptance. This HAPPY interactive book encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the differences in people. We were so delighted when we came across this app, every element in this simple read is stunning and the message so poignant! This company has a darling line of toys and prints to adorn your tots room with. We believe in happy design. We’re especially drawn to the impact and beauty of simple, modern graphic shapes and bold colors. We imagine these pieces would be equally happy in spaces for kids or adults. After a bit of Read more …

Rom and the whale of dreams by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd.

Rom and the Whale of Dreams, by BelMontis, is a magical dreamy tale written by Jose Miguel Vilar-Bou and illustrated by Alejaandra Zuniga that takes place in the enchanting Kingdom of Gypsies called Numia. This is where imagination is the ruler and dreaming is a thing of the past. For the people of Numia have forgotten how to dream and must suffice with only their daydreams. The young Prince Rom has a recurring dream about a whale creature and he decides to go off looking for this mysterious animal. This wonderful fairy-like tale is available in three different languages, English, Chinese and Spanish.

What child doesn’t love a great story? Great stories never grow old! Read more …

Diana Dreams about Dinosaurs HD by Genera Games

Diana Dreams about Dinosaurs is a delightful animated title from TouchyBooks. It has wonderful interactive elements that reinforce the cute story about a little girl obsessed with dinosaurs. She wakes up to find all the people in town turned into dinosaurs, from the mailman to her teacher at school. But when the school bell rings, she wakes up again to find her own alarm clock making the noise - she had been dreaming! The book then repeats her day with people in place of the dinos, although they are all still sort-of dino-shaped, amusing little Diana to no end.

Fun things to trigger include making Diana run down the stairs and cross the street with the light properly. There are so many of Read more …

ABCmouse.com Mt. Rushmore by Age of Learning, Inc.

Nearly 100 years ago, my own grandmother (a native to South Dakota), stood on the nose of one of the carved presidential heads while Mount Rushmore was being built. I told my child this family history and then we began reading this adorable book app together. Two cute mice star in this cartoon-style title about Mount Rushmore from the creators of ABCmouse.com (a fee-based pre-school/kindergarten website with learning games and books). Their names are "123" and "ABC" and they explore this natural wonder in a way that will captivate young readers and listeners. This app doesn't have any fancy enhancements, but it makes up for this with a fun storyline, music, and expressive Read more …

ABCmouse.com Grand Canyon by Age of Learning, Inc.

Two cute mice star in this cartoon-style book app about the Grand Canyon from the creators of ABCmouse.com (a fee-based pre-school/kindergarten website with learning games and books). Their names are "123" and "ABC" and they explore this natural wonder in a way that will captivate young readers and listeners. This app doesn't have any fancy enhancements, but it makes up for this with a fun storyline, music, and expressive narration for each character.

The story begins with the mice inside what looks like a box with a screen facing out; readers will soon realize that these two friends are actually inside a computer. They can travel anywhere in the world through the Internet, Read more …

The Mouse and the Meadow by Dawn Publications

The Mouse and the Meadow, by Dawn Publications, is a magnificent storybook app that has a tremendous WOW factor. It’s part pop-up book, part entrainment, and part teacher tool, and totally crammed with teachable moments on every page. Written and illustrated by Chad Wallace, this delightful tale is brought to life by his masterful artwork. Coupled with the incredible animations by developer, Malachi Bazan, puts this app in the totally outstanding category. Obviously, this team knows children, has experience with the digital world, and knows what it takes to create a non-fictional drama.

The book is written in rhyme, which my students, (much to my delight) picked up on right away. Read more …

The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu - Book 1 - The Jade Legend by Steam Powered Productions Pte. Ltd.

The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu – Book 1 – The Jade Legend, by Steam Powered Productions, is a magnificent tome of a story app and the first in the series of eight books. Book 1 begins with a little Taiwanese rabbit who wants to follow her prestigious grandfather’s paw prints and be an inventor. The tinkering turns into many years, with the inspiration of getting to the moon to find the mysterious Jade Rabbit, similar to our version of the “Man in the Moon” concept. Shabu Shabu has always dreamed of joining her grandfather on his adventures, but instead spends her childhood cloistered in his lab because he is so overprotective of his granddaughter.

Read more …

Little Otter Goes Fishing by SINGAPORE NATIONAL CO-OPERATIVE FEDERATION LTD

A wonderful tale is woven in this digital book from the SEED institute, part of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation's attempt to produce quality digital children's literature for a global audience. In this storybook, Little Otter is eager to learn to fish. He seeks the help of Big Otter and soon has learned all the important skills he needs, like how to hold his breath and dive. Soon Little Otter has a handful of fish to eat and is very proud of himself. When Baby Otter joins them, saying, "Wow, can you show me how to fish?" Little Otter is happy to be the teacher now, passing on his new wisdom.

A series of six nice discussion questions follow the story, which is lightly animated Read more …

Elephant in My Pocket by Jolly Books

An Elephant in My Pocket is a very cute little book for the iPad. It has bright, colorful illustrations and a really funny story that had my son giggling along with the main character, a little girl named Suzy. The story itself is delightful, with a playful approach to storytelling from the child's perspective.  I could easily picture a real little girl telling this tall tale of putting an elephant in her pocket and taking him to school. It captures all the whimsy of childhood imagination.  

Even the scene where the classroom of kids is 'trampled flat' shows hilarious illustrations of arms waving at funny angles under the elephant, so it's not in the least bit scary. Plus the kids Read more …

Children's Bible Games & Activities for your Kids and School by Barcelona Multimedia

I'm not a follower of organized religion but I had a religious upbringing. The aspect of it I enjoyed the most was reading the Bible, so I was pleased when developer Barcelona Multimedia asked me to review Children's Bible Games & Activities for your Kids and School. One of my 'A' levels was in Biblical Studies, and I still remember writing essays on the passages in Genesis which, according to the Graf-Wellhausen source hypothesis, were from the J source (which presents an anthropomorphic view of God). Thankfully, this app is much more accessible and dare I say fun.

The app is free to download and has three modules planned for both the New and Old Testament. Only one module, Birth of Read more …

The Best Teacher Ever - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
The Best Teacher Ever by Mercer Mayer is one of the new adventure with Little Critter, published in print in 2008. In this title, Little Critter tells readers about his favorite teacher, Miss Kitty and all the wonderful things she does for her students each day (which thankfully includes not playing 'cat & mouse' her rodent pupils). The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find 15 of the little mice and 16 of the 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 Read more …