Little Red Riding Hood by Nosy Crow by Nosy Crow Limited

The much awaited third fairy tale app from Nosy Crow is here and fans of their first two apps, The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella, will not be disappointed. This rendition of the classic tale of a little girl in a red cape and a wolf trying to fool her into thinking he is her grandmother will captivate readers of all ages. This title takes the genre to a new level, introducing a 'choose-your-own-adventure' element along with the usual games presented within the story. These interactive elements, and all the great dialogue, expand the storytelling in a variety of ways, although some kids may become distracted from the storyline in the process. This is hardly a serious issue with such Read more …

Cinderella – Nosy Crow animated picture book by Nosy Crow Limited

The much awaited second book from Nosy Crow is here and fans of their first book app, The Three Little Pigs, will not be disappointed. Cinderella captivates readers of all ages and brings even more interactivity to the classic tale of a girl, her fairy godmother & a mysterious glass slipper. You can help Cinderella tidy the house, dress the mean step-sisters for the ball, and even pick the pumpkin to be turned into a carriage.

Like their previous app, Nosy Crow has not forgotten a single detail in this delightful title, featuring adorable child actors for the voices of all the characters. You can scroll to see more of each page, with fun activities that include hunting for a cute little Read more …

Snow White by Nosy Crow by Nosy Crow Limited

The book app, Snow White by Nosy Crow, is a smart, and sometimes hilarious take of a classic fairy tale. In true Nosy Crow style, this app features vibrant illustrations. It preserves the key elements of the classic story, but removes the scary stuff (gone are any references to bringing her heart back to the queen). A modern sensibility persists, and the results are often hilarious (my favourite: the time Snow White refuses the queen’s poisoned cupcake because she just brushed her teeth). The interactivity is well-placed: for example, children can rock their iPad to put baby Snow White to sleep or, later in the story, they may help the stepmother make her poisoned brew. This app Read more …

Jack and the Beanstalk by Mindshapes by Mindshapes Limited

"I'm going on a fantastic adventure," says Jack as this story starts. Full of polished animation and fun interactivity that moves the story along, Jack and the Beanstalk by Mindshapes brings a fairy tale classic to digital in a way that is close to perfection. This title is fun, engaging and nicely enhanced for educational use. It features the kind of animation and cartoon-like illustrations that kids love, along with a nice retelling of the classic story about a boy who trades the family cow for three 'magic beans'.

The interactive elements in this app are top notch. Tap the mom to make her toss the beans out the window to grow into a giant beanstalk. Watch Jack eat his fill of cakes in Read more …

The Three Little Pigs-Nosy Crow animated storybook by Nosy Crow Limited

There are lot of choices in the app store for lovers of the three little pigs, but very few stand out. This version, the first book app by Nosy Crow, is one of the very best! It is interactive in unique and fun ways that make the story feel more 'alive' than any other ebook I've read with my child. They even take advantage of the iPad's microphone, using it to pick up the sound from 'blowing' at the screen - which then triggers the wolf's classic "huff & puff" action. 

The reader gets to help the pigs build their three little houses, too. Flick each pig to get them to toss a bundle of building materials (straw, wood or bricks) at the incomplete structure until it is built. And Read more …

Big Nate: Comix By U! HD by Night & Day Studios, Inc.

From Night & Day Studios comes a truly exceptional app for creativity. Fans of Lincoln Pierce's "Big Nate" series will not be disappointed by this full-featured comic book creation app. My seven-year old is a recent fan of these stories, about a 6th grade boy and his friends. Familiar scenes from school and home draw young readers into this fun series, ideal for upper elementary school and early middle school readers, especially boys.

Parents should know that this app does not include a lot of reading content, but is instead intended to inspire your young storytellers to create their own simple narratives in comic-book fashion. The app has a half dozen examples of the Big Nate comic Read more …

Bizzy Bear Builds a House by Nosy Crow Limited

This original book from Nosy Crow is based on a series of print 'toddler' board books, first published in 2011 and featuring the adorable illustrations by Benji Davies. Children will love assisting Bizzy as he helps out on a building site in this 2nd Bizzy Bear book app - see Bizzy Bear on the Farm for the first app in this series. Interactivity and character dialogue is driven by the reader, including lots of variety and room for open-ended exploration. In order for this cute cub to complete his chores, readers will need to help him by moving building supplies, digging, hammering, and much more.

Although this app is no fairy tale, it does have Read more …

Bizzy Bear on the Farm by Nosy Crow Limited

This original book from Nosy Crow is based on a series of print 'toddler' board books published in 2011 and features adorable illustrations by Benji Davies. Children will love assisting Bizzy as he helps out on the farm. Interactivity and character dialogue is driven by the reader, including lots of variety and room for open-ended exploration. In order for this cute cub to complete his chores, readers will need to help him by feeding the pigs, herding sheep, collecting eggs, picking apples and much more.

Although this app is no fairy tale, it does have many things in common with Nosy Crow's other two book apps (Cinderella & The Three Little Pigs). It is polished and solidly made, 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 …

Animal SnApp: Farm by Nosy Crow Limited

Nosy Crow's latest app is sure to please the toddler and preschool set (and their parents) with Animal SnAPP, an app that contains a mix and match book, with a series of six animal 'tops & bottoms' that slide together. Once each of these animals is connected to its 'other half', a short story begins, giving young readers a six-pack of readers all-in-one app.

Whether narrated in a delightful & crisp British accent, or in 'read myself' mode, there is plenty to play with in Animal SnAPP, including animations that are top-notch and additional dialogue in speech bubbles from several of the barnyard animals. The stories are sweet but very simple, making this an app I would recommend for Read more …

Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow by Nosy Crow Limited

Fans of fairy tales have flocked to Nosy Crow's beautifully produced apps since the launch of the Three Little Pigs app in early 2011. Jack and the Beanstalk follows in the same tradition as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, featuring familiar stories with humourous dialogue (in speech-bubbles, which kids love) and reader-driven features that make for an immersive reading experience. The Grimm aspects of this and the other tales are softened, so there is nothing especially scary, although the characters can be a bit 'sassy' or impertinent at times. This dry humor, coupled with Ed Bryan's beautiful artwork and seamless animation, are a winning Read more …

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook by National Network of Digital Schools Corp

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully written by Michael Scotto and developed by Midlandia Press is the third iPad book app in the “Tales of Midlandia” series. Just on time for back to school, it is a fantastic book that raises the sensitive issue about bullying via a great story about friendship, fairness and sharing with stunning illustrations, top audio and great interactive features ... Another Fun Educational Top Pick!

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully is the third in the Tales of Midlandia series. It is about sweet Harvest the farmer who has a problem with Buck the banker. Buck is a mean little guy who is digging Harvest’s corn field Read more …

I Don't Like Pink HD by PicPocket Books

This sweet book from author/illustrator Brooks Jones is about a little girl who just doesn't like pink. It features original music and delightful narration by the author herself. The illustrations are crisp and colorful, featuring a little girl and her friend using speech bubbles for all of the dialogue.

When Gabi's grandmother sends her a pink t-shirt as a present, she feels really mad. Her friend (a little boy) actually likes pink, so Gabi decides to give the shirt to her friend. He gives her his blue shirt, since blue is actually a color Gabi really likes a lot (it makes her want to fly she says, while pink just makes her mad). This cute exchange is followed up by several nice discussion Read more …

PASS IT ON! by CJ EDUCATIONS CORPORATION

On an idyllic farm where a bee and cow are friends, a message needs to be delivered. Colorful and lightly animated, this app shares a story that starts with little Bee telling Frog that Cow needs help. "Cow is stuck in the fence. PASS IT ON!" begins the message, but by the time it arrives on the other side of the farm, the reason all the animals come running has been 'lost in translation'.

With polished production values and nice settings for a variety of storytime uses, this app will appeal to children aged 3-6. A simple game (oddly named 'telephone' only because it uses images or drawing instead of speaking to pass 'messages'), uses limited pre-selected phrases alongside digital stickers Read more …

Lil' Helper by Tizio BV

More a game than a book, this app has a simple interface that pleases young children. Little kids love to help their parents (an eagerness that wears off as they get older, unfortunately), so this app about a child who is helping his/her mother shop, really hits the mark for keeping its audience happy. Kids will love the jazzy music and fun 'gamification' of the simulated tasks, but parents will love how deeply engaged children are with this app, providing a good value for entertainment and learning.

"Three fun games to help your mom!" begins this app, showing through a text story (non-narrated), the steps for the child to be a 'helper' by 1) shopping, 2) heading home and 3) cooking. The Read more …

How Far is UP by E Sargeant

How Far is Up? is a new and mesmerizing storybook app about three friends who wonder how far it is to the moon, sun and even to the faraway galaxies beyond our own. Rusty, Buster and Ting explore the concept of "up" in a familiar, earth-bound world ... from the top of a cupboard to a tall tree, and then to the peak of a mountain. Soon they look farther, beyond the well-known to our greater universe, expanding their view by traveling in a rocketship. The reader is taken along on this exploration of the stars, planets and space, with a wonderful mix of facts and musings.

The story unfolds with perfect pacing alongside lyrical verses and some of the most beautiful piano music I've ever heard Read more …

Search and Explore: The Golden Gate Bridge from ABCmouse.com by Age of Learning, Inc.

Two cute mice star in this cartoon-style book app about the Golden Gate Bridge 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 …

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 …

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 …

Lazy Bird by Tatyana Mironova

Featuring charming illustrations and a fun storyline, Lazy Bird is a book app that young readers, ages 5-8, will enjoy. It is longer than the average picture book but shorter than a chapter book, filling a unique space in between, for young readers bridging to longer text. The overall length does seem excessive at times, however, indicating a need for additional editing and polishing for this otherwise lovely indie publication.

The story is about a young bird named Frank who overpacks for his flock's trip to Hawaii. There are a lot more details to the plot, but this is the basic story arc, which involves Frank taking many shortcuts out of laziness. He has someone else pack his suitcase and Read more …


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