Roxie's Doors by oc graphics

Based on Doors, a popular lift-the-flap print book, Roxie's Doors makes the digital transition so beautifully, it's hard to believe it wasn't originally designed for the iPad. There are over "50 flaps to lift & explore", bringing new discoveries on every page. The illustrations are delightful and so detailed that you notice something new with every re-reading.

The talented author/illustrator Roxie Munro brought the print book to children in 2004. I was not surprised to find all 5-Star reviews on Amazon.com for it, too. As a digital title, the book is lightly enhanced with animation, but the interactivity is the real star of this show! There are fun things to discover under Read more …

The Book of Holes by Chocolate Factory Publishing, LLC

Based on a board book with original collages and a unique theme, this story has been lovingly re-imagined for the tablet. The original title, published in Denmark in 2006, had a physical hole through the entire book. Pages of large black text tell a story about the important holes in our bodies and our world using visual images formed by the words themselves - in circles, wavy lines and even the shape of an eye. The pages in between this fabulous wordplay are fascinating as well, formed by collages of images that let little fingers experience some of the things described on the previous page. While you can't put your finger through your screen, you can play with dozens of well-crafted and Read more …

Timbuktu Magazine - Stories and games for parents and kids. by Timbuktu Labs, Inc.

Are you looking for a digital activity book app for kids 6-10+? Timbuktu has an exceptional offering for your tablet, full of thoughtful, polished content that has been beautifully designed and curated for elementary school aged children. Educational, easy to navigate and most importantly, fun for kids. Timbuktu sets the standard high for a digital children's magazine worthy of the 21st century young reader.

The set up for this app is simple, letting kids use the free version for a single issue that is packed with a ton of content. Watch also for special sales on the in-app purchases for single issues & subscriptions. The app does contain links to the appstore, email & the web, but Read more …

Spot the Dot by Ruckus Media Group

This game is based on the print pop-up activity books by David A. Carter. As an app it is a lot of fun and preserves much of the charm of the print titles. Each page asks the reader to 'spot the dot' hidden under boxes, on screens covered with geometric shapes and on 'hidden object' style pages, including ones with movement. The visuals are lovely although not quite as stunning as the paper versions of titles like "One Red Dot" and "600 Black Spots".

This app teaches colors and attention to detail, as well as having several simple sentences that appear as they are read aloud. Each activity is fun and has just a bit of challenge. Young children may need an adults help once in awhile, but for 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 …

KidsMag Halloween Special Edition by Portegno SA

This app contains a short but cute storybook about two kids (Teo & Bianca) who explore their basement to find costume materials – with scary and funny results. Beyond the story, you’ll find an exceptional assortment of extras. It has puzzles, spot-the-dot, coloring pages, sequencing/matching activities and much more than I can even list. 5-Star extras in this & every edition of “KidsMag”!

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

KidsMag Issue 2 by Portegno SA

KidsMag 2 from Portegno Apps is part of a fantastic series of digital 'activity books', including a short but cute storybook. This issue has little brother Teo going on a fishing trip. He and his friends find worms, a perfect spot along the river and cooperate to catch the 'big one'. With 30 pages of activities, this is one of those apps that will keep a bored kid busy (and learning) for nearly an hour.

As a digital offering, this title is solidly made with ample settings to navigate and adjust the apps audio. The story and all activity pages have narration, so even pre-readers can enjoy this app. Illustrations are simple computer graphics but colorful and engaging in a cartoon-like way Read more …

KidsMag Issue 03 by Portegno SA

This app contains a short but cute storybook about two kids (Teo & Bianca) planning their family vacation. When they decide to go to the beach, readers get to help pack the suitcases and learn about sea life before the final chapter in their story about building a sand castle. With over 30 pages of activities, this is one of those apps that will keep a bored kid busy (and learning) for nearly an hour.

As a digital offering, this title is solidly made with ample settings to navigate and adjust the apps audio. The story and all activity pages have narration, so even pre-readers can enjoy this app. Illustrations are simple computer graphics but colorful and engaging in a cartoon-like way Read more …

NetKids Digital Entertainment Network for Kids by CUPCAKE DIGITAL INC

After installing and setting up the free app, parents create an account for themselves and for each child age two and up using the app. The settings are parent-protected by year of birth and have everything you could want in terms of settings: child profiles, parental account, manage titles (where certain titles can be removed from the child's view, like maybe Barney), quality settings (for switching HD off or on and allowing the app to use cellular data for downloads), manage downloads (where items can be removed), support, rate app, privacy policy and the unlock content area where the subscription is made.

After all of the parental tinkering in settings, adults can hand over the app to Read more …

Highlights: All About by Highlights for Children, Inc.

Highlights Magazine for kids has been an American staple for generations. It is still available as a print magazine subscription and is now also available in digital form. The publishers of Highlights have recently released a series of books, in both print and digital versions that include all the Highlights favorite sections but concentrate on a theme- these are the Highlights “All About” books. There are All About books with seasonal themes- Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, and also a variety of other themes including Camping, Pets and Transportation. The books are designed for children from 4+. I tested out the print and digital versions of the All About Spring and All About Read more …

The Waterhole - Graeme Base by AppBooks

Based on the 2001 print title, this fascinating app brings Graeme Base's tale about animals gathering at a waterhole to life. Filled with games and an interactive storybook, this app is sure to please young and old alike. It isn't quite the same as the art-book style print title, but children will pour over this digital version to find the hidden creatures in this stellar counting book all the same.

The images are gorgeous in this app, however I would love to see the initial page with text much larger and highlighting as it is read. It is tiny and the image doesn't seem to really take advantage of the screen size. A 'loading screen' also disrupts things periodically. A page guide and Read more …

KidsMg Easter Special Edition by Portegno SA

KidsMag from Portegno Apps is a fantastic series of digital 'activity books', including a short but cute storybook in each issue. This issue has the children listening to a bedtime story about Easter. It features a land of bunny 'egg painters' ... a group of helpers not unlike Santa's elves. The main character is just learning his trade and gets lots of inspiration from his siblings before finding his own style.

As a digital offering, this title is solidly made with ample settings to navigate and adjust the app's audio. The story and all activity pages have narration, so even pre-readers can enjoy this app. Illustrations are simple computer graphics but colorful and engaging in a 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 …

Christmas Activity Book HD - by BabyFirst by BFTV, LLC

This is a packed 'activity book' app with Christmas themed stories, songs, puzzles, sticker pages and more. This app includes lots of educational games, too, including counting & matching colors. Features light animation with most activities. Crisp cartoon-like graphics will appeal to children along with the variety of games. Parents should be aware that there are several in-app ads for the developer's other apps that come up in-between the pages of other activities. Turn off in-app purchases or set device to airplane mode to avoid unintentional trips outside the app.

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


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