ToonSpaghetti Story Lab by TechSpaghetti UG (haftungsbeschraenkt)

ToonSpaghetti Story Lab opens up little users are asked to choose between a male and female character and then launches straight into the first story. During the first play through, a little robot friend helps guide your little one through the process of adding in music and sound effects that reflect and reinforce the mood of the story. As we progress to later parts of the story, your child will have to identify the moods when prompted.

Your child will get to choose between three snips of music for each leg of the story, and what they choose can really give the story a different feel. They will also be able to insert up to four different sound effects within each leg of the story, placing Read more …

OnceAppon - A good night story maker for kids by OnceAppon

OnceAppon, released in May 2014, is a beautifully-illustrated app that invites users to assemble a “hero” with an avatar maker, and see that hero imported into a readable story customized with their own choices. It’s the most exciting ebook and creation app for young children (preK-1st) that I’ve seen in a long time. As of now, OnceAppon is free for iPad, with no Android version. It lends itself to hours and hours of individual use, and could be an absolutely magical addition to a digital storytime.

The details:

OnceAppon’s avatar maker is wonderful, offering lots–but not an overwhelming amount–of options for customizing your hero’s hair, Read more …

Sofia the First: Story Theater by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Sofia the First is a new character featured in a new Disney Channel television show out this year. She is the first princess specifically marketed to children as young as two, although anyone with a little girl will tell you that the Disney Princesses have already enchanted the toddler set without any help from little Sofia. Her story is very sweet, and thoughtful in many ways with a message about valuing what is on the inside, not the outside of a person and highlighting qualities like kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty, and grace.

In this app, readers will find a full storybook with exceptionally polished animation and very nice interactivity that is relevant and well paced. Read more …

Collins Big Cat: The Steam Train 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. The Steam Train based on the print title by Ian Whybrow, was published in 2009. According to the description:

"The steam train is pulling out of the station, it heads to the hills, into a rainstorm, through a tunnel and out the other side into the sunshine and to the seaside. Follow the rhythm and the rhyme of this simple poem and travel with the train on its wonderful adventure, beautifully illustrated by Rosalind Hudson." [Source: Amazon]

In digital Read more …

Collins Big Cat: The Farmer’s Lunch 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. The Farmer's Lunch, based on the print title by Paul Shipton, was published in 2009. According to the description:

"It's lunchtime and the farmer's hungry, but his lunch box is empty! He turns to all the animals on his farm for help, the sheep, cows, horses and geese, but they are all being very secretive. Are they hiding his lunch, or a much bigger and better surprise? The delightful illustrations develop the text, providing lots of points for discussion." 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 …

Collins Big Cat: Around the World 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. Around the World, based on the print title by James Carter with illustrations from Cliff Moon, was published in 2007. According to the description:

"Traversing across the world by train, boat and plane, the two children in this story poem encounter the extremes of sun and snow travelling to Africa, India and China. The book begins with a poem, before revealing their journey's details, and repetitive questions encourage the reader to turn the page and continue Read more …

Collins Big Cat: At the Dump 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. At the Dump, based on the print title by Claire Llewellyn and Ley Honor Roberts, was published in 2007. According to the description:

"This book focuses on the core topics of biology with a friendly writing style and vivid illustrations while exploring current "real world" issues. A seven-part organization covers atoms, molecules, and cells; energy and life; genetics; evolution and the diversity of life; human anatomy and physiology; and plant anatomy and physiology. For Read more …

Collins Big Cat In The Garden 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. In the Garden, based on the print title by Mitch Cronick with illustrations from Melanie Sharp, was published in 2005. According to the description:

"What happens when Mum is in the garden tidying up, but the children just want to play? This simple, humorous story book shows two boys creating mayhem while Mum works on, unaware. It explores the different places they find to play, from the tent, to the sandpit, through the grass, the leaves and the mud before finally Read more …

Collins Big Cat: It Was a Cold, Dark Night 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. It Was a Cold, Dark Night, based on the print title by Tim Hopgood, was published in 2009. According to the description:

"Ned the hedgehog is looking for a home in the cold, dark forest. He needs somewhere warm and cosy to sleep, but all he keeps finding are other creatures' homes: rabbits', foxes', owls', bats'. Will he ever find a snug safe bed of his own?" [Source: Amazon]

In digital form, this series features light animation and interactivity, along with intuitive Read more …

WePublish by KIDS' OWN (AUSTRALIA) INC

Two of the six early literacy skills I focus on in storytime are print awareness and print motivation. Like librarians everywhere, as we read, play, sing, talk, and write I want kids to see that print is everywhere and understand how a book works. I also want to get them hooked on stories, books and reading.

Along with print books, I’m always looking for early literacy boosting apps and other digital media that I can review, use in programs, and recommend to families. So when I had the opportunity to review the WePublish app recently, I was interested to see what it was all about. Oftentimes the way to connect a young child with reading is too share with them books that Read more …

tapStory by Owen Mathews

The app opens with a few easy set-ups. One of the most important is setting up a parent passcode to keep little fingers from accessing purchases or external links. Once the passcode is established, kids are free to tap and explore or parents can sit down with their kiddos and learn how to create together. The homescreen gives access to both of the free stories, "Pea and Carrot" and "Ten Birds" as well as seven stories available for purchase that range in price from $2.99 to $7.99. Users can also get straight to creating their own stories using characters and backgrounds from the stories that are included or purchased. The homescreen also has what they call an "apron" which is a menu Read more …

Auracle – Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty by Auryn, Inc

Duncan is a dog with a purpose, visiting patients in the hospital to help them feel better. And he's part of a diverse family where everyone has important work they love to do. Based on the fun print title published in 2007, this app features lots of great enhancements, including the ability to fully personalize the story and record your own narration.

The app features charming illustrations with lots of detail. The story is told in pictures as much as words, making it an ideal title for children to re-write as a way to build their own storytelling skills. This book is also lightly interactive, featuring images that name themselves when tapped. For instance, tap on Duncan to see & hear Read more …

Auracle - Edsel McFarlan's New Car by Auryn, Inc

This short but cute storybook from Auracle is personalizable, with text and narration that can be customized. It features a story about a little boy who loves cars and gets a life-size model in the mail. Edsel McFarlan builds his car and then rides it all over town, scaring his neighbors and creating chaos along the way. Based on the popular print title published in July 2010, this book has a lot to offer in digital form.

The app features charming illustrations with lots of detail. The story is told in pictures as much as words, making it an ideal title for children to re-write as a way to build their own storytelling skills. This book is also lightly interactive, featuring images that name Read more …

Photo Tales - Create Photo Stories with Your Kids by tho pham

PhotoTales by Tho Pham is an app for iOS which allows your family to customize a story with your photos and images based on the text provided.  For the purposes of this review, I looked at “A Happy Day in the Zoo” which I customized to be about a recent family trip to the zoo using included images and my own personal photos to make the story more interesting and help to engage my son.  The first time we created the story, my son and I did it together using photos from my iPhone as well as those I stored on our Bevy to pull into the book.  We completed it together and then saved it off to our computer.  The second time I did the same book, I was Read more …

Collins Big Cat: My Bike Ride Story Creator by Harper Collins Publishers Limited

I really wanted to like this title, even love it, given that it is currently free and from Haper Collins, one of the world's largest publishing companies. It is part of the "Big Cat" series of apps, all of which include a specialized 'story creation' tool. There are several other apps in the series, including others I enjoyed, although none of them properly work in story creation mode.

But this title also gets very confusing with its basic interactive elements, taking a lovely (although quite simple) title from a print publication in 2006 and reissuing it in digital in a way that makes it nearly un-usable. It is currently free, along with a number of other titles in this series, so worth a Read more …


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