Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

This storybook app is only lightly enhanced with snow falling and interactive elements that name the images in the illustrations, but it does capture the classic story with all the important details. From the abominable snowman, misfit toys and foggy night where Rudolf's nose could 'glow so bright', Oceanhouse Media has brought a Christmas tradtion to the digital reading space. This is a solidly made app and guaranteed to enhance youngsters holiday spirit!

Updated 11/29/2012 (initiatial publication date: 11/24/2011) - New features include recordable narration and page guide as well as  settings to turn off sound effects, interactivity and hints.

This app is part of a special post 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 …

KidsMag Christmas Special Edition by Portegno SA

This great little app is from Portegno Apps, makers of the KidsMag series. These digital 'activity books' are a great way to get kids learning while having fun. The holiday version of KidsMag for Christmas is full of lots of engaging games, stories and puzzles, including matching colors, ordering reindeer by number, decorating a tree, dot-to-dot, spot-the-difference, and much more. KidsMag apps are a treat for children ages 4-8 anytime of the year, but this version is especially suited to the winter holidays. Kids will enjoy the games and other activities while getting into the Christmas spirit.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for Read more …

Elly Book 13 - the garden 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 is growing a garden and gathers her friends to help her. They weed, mow and plant new seeds. Elly's garden grows and her friends help pick the vegetables. She makes soup and a delicious cake to share.

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 also has a very small 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 …

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.

Elly Book 7 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 and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story Elly and her friends find musical instruments and try to form a band. They are not very good, though, until the wise Owl helps out by being their conductor.

This cute series of books has become a fast favorite of my preschooler at bedtime. There is no narration, but it is planned for a future update. They are short & sweet, perfect for bedtime. With features like simple swipe-style page turning and an easy to read Read more …

Elly Book 8 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 and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story Elly and her friends are trying to find something to do on a very rainy day. They end up singing 'Rain, rain, go away, come again another day,' and then seeing a rainbow appear as the sun comes out.

This cute series of books now has narration, beginning with this title. The reader is Rose Higham and her voice (with crisp British accent) is a lovely addition to the series. The app is short & sweet, still perfect for bedtime Read more …

Elly Book 9 by Dipali Vaidya

Elly is a little reindeer with cute woodland friends. This series of books is very simply made with one sound effect to trigger on most pages. The stories are great for preschoolers, with appealing cartoon graphics. In this episode, Elly gets invited to a costume party with a spooky theme & has to decide on what to wear. Elly books are also now nicely narrated. 

This title is one of over a dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post, "Enhanced Spookiness! Top 10 iPad Book Apps for Halloween"

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 …

Elly Book 1 by Dipali Vaidya

The Elly books, by Jon Higham, are getting a makeover, starting with book one! Each title will now have 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 (by themselves) and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story there is a mysterious letter in Elly's mailbox. It says "You are invited to a birthday party tomorrow at 11:00am." Unfortunately there is no 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 …

Elly Book 3 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 a mysterious package, but it is so windy that the parcel flies away before the postman can reach her door. As Elly chases her mail she runs into several friends who try to help her catch it.

Even with a bicycle, scooter and pogo stick, none of Elly's friends can pin the package down. Soon it is stuck in a tree. Just in time, the wise Owl character arrives. He flies up to the tree and retrieves the Read more …

Elly Book 4 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 and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story Elly goes on a picnic, bringing lots of her friends favorite foods.

She starts out with a map and plans to go on a long hike to the hill where she will meet her friends for lunch. Along the way she gets hungry and eats most of the picnic basket's contents (except for the chocolate mice she leaves with Owl). After she gets to the picnic spot, she finishes off the juice and falls fast asleep. When she wakes up, all her friends Read more …

Elly Book 5 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 and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story Elly goes to the seaside with her friends.

She rides with her friends to the beach, singing all the way. They play in the ocean, build sandcastles and explore the tide pools. Elly even finds a large shell as a souvenir. When it's time to go, the group heads home having had a fun, full day. At bedtime, Elly thinks of all the wonderful adventures she's had that day, putting the sea shell against her ear to hear the sound of the Read more …

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 …

The Snow Queen Musical Children's Interactive Storybook Adventure by Phantom 5 Music Group

This is a theatrical presentation of a much-loved fairy tale that feels like a cross between Disney and Japanese animé. It has exceptional production values, five full musical scenes and exquisitely detailed illustrations. The Snow Queen, published in 1845 by Hans Christen Andersen, is about a fight between good and evil. It features two children (a boy and a girl) named Kai & Gerda. While this story is one of the longest fairy tales in Andersen's collection, it is also considered by critics as one of the best, despite being a less familiar tale for many American readers. [See synopsis tab for the full plot.]

As a digital book, this app is well-made with ample settings Read more …

Henry Motlies Xmas story by JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy

This is an adorable story starring one of Santa's reindeer that you've probably never heard of ... Henry. He is one of the Motlies, "a group of ... animals [that] speak “animalish” – the common language in the wild ... They are quirky and fun and can help to bring an understanding and appreciation of the world around us." This story is about Henry, a reindeer that can only fly upside-down, but this doesn't prevent him from being useful on Christmas Eve. In fact, Santa's whole sleigh flies upside down with Henry at the lead, making it even easier to drop presents into the chimneys below. The app itself is well made with simple swipe-style page turning and an easy Read more …

Motlies Easter Island Adventure by JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy

This is part of the Motley series from Just Kids Apps. It is an unusual but imaginative series of tales based on a series of creatures that are, "very different and individual animals. They can all speak animalish – the common language in the wild – and are able to share their experiences and stories. They are quirky and fun and can help to bring an understanding and appreciation of the world around us."

At Christmas time you may have discovered their free book app, an adorable story starring one of Santa's reindeer that can only fly upside-down. Like the story from Christmastime, Henry the Upside Down Reindeer, this Motley story has a fun plot about a trip to Easter Island Read more …

Christmas Tale II HD by TabTale LTD

This is another very interactive title from TabTale, not unlike their first app, out since 2010 called simply Christmas Tale. This title has simple text on each page that makes up less of a story and more of a narrated activity book. Readers are asked to name Santa's reindeer (just tap to hear the names), decorate a tree, build a snowman, stuff Santa down a chimney, open gifts and sing along to a nice variety of holiday tunes. It is an amazing array of well-produced enhancements for just 6 pages. Unfortunately, this is also a free app that includes a banner ad at the bottom, although an in-app purchase can turn this off. The ads & text can get in the way of the interactive elements Read more …

Flying Poodles - A Christmas Story by PoodleDog Productions

One Christmas Eve the reindeer are in a dire situation ... all the usual helpers for Santa's sleigh are sick! Soon several poodles decide to step in and take over to help Santa deliver all the holiday gifts. A unique and original tale for the holidays. A small extra called "meet the poodles" is included, but other than that this title is not interactive. The story itself is cute, with nicely narrated rhyming text and background sounds & music. Page layout is heavy on text that is in a stylized font that is rather small. No highlighting with narration or other enhancements, but otherwise this is a lovely little storybook app.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed 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.

Your Child Saves Christmas by Penwizard Ltd

Your Child Saves Christmas by Penwizard Ltd is an iPad only app designed for iOS.  The storybook takes what was formerly a print book and turns it into an interactive experience with your child.  When opening the story, you first create a character.  This character can be personalized with a name, glasses or not, pajama color, gender, hair style, hair color and skin color.  When you go back into the app you can either choose to use the same character again or create another which makes it great for multiple children to use.  The app does use the  UK spelling for several items including pyjama and Santa Clause within the app.  In the story the Read more …


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