Alphabet of Insects by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Alphabet of Insects from the Oceanhouse Media's Smithsonian Collection - is a beautifully illustrated alphabet book about bugs, the natural world and science. The print version of this title was released in 2007 along with an audio CD and poster. As a book app, this title sparkles, giving enormous value over its print counterpart, including narrated text that highlights as read. This book series fills a great need for digital book apps with non-fiction educational content. The books selected so far have been well vetted as print titles, making it easy as parents & educators to select these digital books with confidence.

Each title in this series takes the Read more …

In The Wild! Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

In The Wild is Oceanhouse Media’s newest Cat in The Hat Learning Library collection yet! It is a perfect set of four books that will get children excited about zoology, just in time for the new school year.

Safari, So Good! is a brand new book and is currently found exclusively with this collection. Children will take a journey deep in the jungles of Africa to learn more about familiar animals like elephants, cheetahs, rhinos. They will also meet unfamiliar ones that may surprise them like the kudu and the sickle horned sable.

If I Ran the Rainforest is an exciting book where children will discover that there are different kinds of rainforests. They will also learn that Read more …

The Little Bug by Jaclyn Littman

The Little Bug by Jaclyn Littman is a stellar work of art created by this MICA grad student as her MFA thesis project! Wow, glad to see students and schools getting up to speed with tech and all the possibilities of graphic design in the future. The Little Bug app beautifully showcases original cut-paper illustrations, engaging interactivity, and fab narration.

This is a class app! Oh, and did we mention the original sound track? Joshua Cipolla is responsible for the jaunty music. This app was designed for ages 3 and up, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out, it is virtually for all ages. The Little Bug is a terrific lesson Read more …

Queen Bee in Paris by Joshua Wilson

I heard Queen Bee was in Paris, so I boarded a flight and stepped into the newest offering by award winning app developers, The Happy Dandelion – Queen Bee in Paris to see her latest show. This is the second in their Tiny Tourist Series, and it’s extraordinary in both content and the diverse amount of research that went into it. This trip is destination France. Teachers with Apps reviewed the first book of this series  HERE.

The book is brilliantly laid out with the text and illustrations presented on the whole screen, and there are multiple levels graded for learners at different ages and skills. By tapping at the bottom of the page, Read more …

Fine Feathered Friends (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Young readers will love learning with A Fine Feathered Friends (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat). This non-fiction title, published first in print in 1998, was created to give children ages 5-8 the chance to explore the fascintating world of birds with a familiar tour guide, The Cat in the Hat. The learning library series was created in the late 1990's by Random House with a talented team of illustrators, writers & educators, who mimic Seuss's rhyming verse and quirky illustrations beautifully.

And now the Cat-in-the-Hat Learning Library books are available as enhanced books, with the help of Oceanhouse Media. Featuring light animation and Read more …

The Bugabees by FlyingWord, Inc.

Based on the 2009 print title by Amy Recob, this sweet storybook is now available as an app with interactive enhancements and games about each of the food allergies explored in the narrative. The story features common situations where children with food allergies might face difficulties, like attending a birthday party, trick-or-treating and eating in the school cafeteria. In each situation, the bug character models a great attitude by responding, "No thank you, It's really okay. I can still have lots of fun without [name of allergic food] anyway." Adorable children's voices narrate the bugs' voices, which highlight word-for-word

This story is told in nicely crafted rhyming verse, with Read more …

Color Uncovered by Exploratorium

"WE WELCOME HUE" begins this unbelievably cool, free app from San Francisco's Exploratorium. This exceptional educational app has  everything a young scientist could want in an app ... tons of cool facts, stunning visuals and interactive features that let you experiment with your own eyes.

While not narrated or involving any sound or animation, this non-fiction app is a great addition to any digital library for children ages 8 and up. Adults will even find this app full of new insights and information about the science of color. The app is also solidly made with simple page turn by swiping and nice navigation with a page guide at the bottom of every screen.

Find out why Monet was like Read more …

Miss Spider's Tea Party by Callaway Digital Arts, Inc.

Miss Spider's Tea Party is a book series by author David Kirk, and fans of this title on the bookshelf will want to download a copy of their favorite Miss Spider in digital form. It's really a computer animated jewel. The 'play' feature is basically a movie packaged into the book, lasting nearly 6 minutes.

Once you are in the reading mode of the book, the interactivity brings the story alive and adds a magical quality to the whole experience. The audio is crisp & lovely with nice, relaxing background music that makes it okay at bedtime, if you can keep your child away from all the games and don't find the interactive elements too stimulating.

The pages of the book version (under "Read") Read more …

Even Monsters Get Sick by Busy Bee Studios

Even Monsters Get Sick, written and illustrated by Michael Bruza, is the latest app for youngsters from Busy Bee Studios, makers of the popular Zoo Train. The book is a true gem and a perfect example of why every family needs to invest in an iPad. I was hooked from the first page. If the Apple Stores held midnight release parties for new apps, I’d be one of the crazies standing in line for this one. That’s high praise considering my kids are 10 and one is about to start Hunger Games.

The story’s narrator, who speaks in a child’s voice, is Harry. He trades Mona stickers, gum and a skateboard for her monster, Zub. Trades of things of vastly unequal worth Read more …

Even Monsters Are Shy by Busy Bee Studios

 Busy Bee Studios, developer of award winning Even Monsters Get Sick, is back with another equally entertaining and heartwarming book, Even Monsters Are Shy. Even Monsters Are Shy tells the story of Ben and his monster Gurk. Ben receives Gurk as a birthday present and although they have a lot of fun together, they are unable to enjoy group activities because Gurk is extremely shy. Ben wants to take Gurk to see the circus and tries to help him be more comfortable making new friends and being with others, but nothing works. Sadly, Ben gives his circus tickets away. Gurk feels bad and comes up with a plan to make things better. In doing so Gurk surprises not only Ben, but Read more …

Just A Day at the Pond - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
Just A Day at the Pond - Little Critter by Mercer Mayer is one of the "New Adventures" with Little Critter and his family, published in print in 2008. In this title, Little Critter and his family visit their grandparents where they spend a day at the pond. Featuring a swimming hole, fishing and lots of pond life like frogs. The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find all 24 of the little mice and 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 resembles a Read more …
Hannah by Bronwyn Callander

Hannah Habeebee McHats is 'crazy about hats!' ... and not just your typical hats. She loves both large and small, but also more exotic hats, like those that glow, make noise, and even taste "oh, so sweet" (think cupcake)! Filled with lightly animated elements that are triggered with a simple tap, this book app is sure to please young children and their parents. It isn't the most highly produced app, nor one with a ton of extras to keep a child busy for hours, but for the sheer enjoyment of a good book, this is one of my top recommendations.

As a digital book, this title is solidly made with simple settings to read with or without narration. Simply tap the words on each page to trigger the Read more …

Little Fox Music Box – Kids songs – Sing along - Christmas Version by Fox and Sheep GmbH

Little Fox Music Box – Kids Songs – Sing along, by the incredibly talented author Heidi Wittlinger, an Oscar nominated artist, and the developer, goodbeans, has just been updated. This songbook app now fully supports the Retina display of the New iPad and “WOW-O-WOW” is all we can say! Never do the interactions deter from the music, they are divinely subtle and compliment every note sung!

This app is a sing-along songbook featuring more than 100 interactive elements and incorporating 3 songs, which guarantee to bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike! It is brought to you by the team that created the bestselling app “Nighty Night.” Read more …

How To Hide A Dinosaur by Demibooks Inc.

Have you ever wanted to hide something really big? How about a dinosaur? Presented with lots of imagination and great enhancements, How to Hide a Dinosaur is a storybook app that has a lot to engage young readers & listeners. Help the dino skip stones on a lake, splash in the water and try to hide in lots of unlikely places like the hollow of a tree (watch out for the bees!) and behind a water fountain.

This app is solidly made on the Demibooks platform. Text is clear and nicely narrated with a child doing the voice-over, however it doesn't highlight as narrated, which would be a nice addition for a future update. Animations are simple, yet pleasing and polished. Even the sound effects 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 …

A Word's a Bird by Syntonie & Actialuna

A Word’s a Bird, Spring Flies By In Rhymes by French developer Syntonie, the publishing imprint of Actialuna, SAS, brings Caldecott Award-quality to the iPad. The app includes sections for April, May, and June, as well as a “take off” poem that introduces the poetry collections’ shared theme. To visit the poem for each month from the splash screen simply tap on the square with the month’s name. After doing so the reader encounters the poem for the given month as well as an accompanying animation. 

The four poems, which the reader can enjoy in English or French, remain accessible to children even while employing poetic techniques including meter, rhyme, and Read more …

Lost Larry by Wasabi Productions Pty Ltd

Larry the lazy lizard is back in this cute sequel. In this title, the reader gets to help Larry make his way through several obstacle courses, like paths by dangerous animals (ants, bees) and treacherous natural environments like hopping over a stream on lily pads or even crossing a rickety old wooden bridge with missing slats.

My child and I have enjoyed this series since the first book, Lazy Larry Lizard, came out shortly after the release of the first iPad. At the time, it seemed revolutionary. Lazy Larry Lizard was one of the books I would show people who wanted to see what I meant when I said, "The iPad is going to change the way children read books ... forever." The reaction Read more …

Trouble at Trio Farm by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

Trio Farm is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Freda Three who needs the villagers to help figure out who has ransacked her store. Featuring great illustrations and storylines that are delightfully paced for young readers, this is one series of book apps that is perfect for 4-8 year olds.

As a digital book, this title is well made with easy swipe page turning or the alternative of auto-play. The text highlights as it is narrated in a crisp Australian accent. There are several small interactive Read more …

A Very Busy Week, Stories from Tilly's Number Town by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

A Very Busy Week is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two herself and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Nurse Trixie Six who is the one having 'a very busy week'.

In this book the nurse has so many patients that she can hardly keep up, including an outbreak of the measles in the Kindergarten. Soon even the nurse herself is sick, covered in red dots. Before becoming ill, she treats many patients, including the fisherman, policeman and bee keeper. She even helps Tilly Two by sewing her toy bear's eye back on.

As a digital book, this title is Read more …

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? is a fun book app, pairing great sound effects and narration with the whimsical illustrations that make Seuss books instant classics. The story follows the curious Mr. Brown as he mimics the sounds of everything from buzzing bees to a hippopotamus chewing gum.

In print, this book has been a favorite of toddlers and their parents since it's publication in 1970. It is also available in an abridged form as a popular print board book and a great resource for teaching about words that mimic sounds, or onomatopoeia. Like the other titles from Oceanhouse Media, this book has an eye on educational enhancements. For the read-a-long effect, each word is Read more …

A Hug and a Kiss by Tizio BV

A Hug and a Kiss for iPad/iPhone is from the Dutch team "Sieneke & Tineke" that created the toddler ebook: What are you Eating? reviewed earlier this month. This ebook is also for toddlers and is therefore very cute, but also short. It is perfect for little ones at bedtime and a consistent favorite of my child.

The sound effects are delightful. We especially liked the sound the snail makes when it gives its 'kiss'. There are a few sounds to trigger by tapping the pictures on every page. The animals make great sounds (kissing, roaring, etc.) and the little boy is adorable with his expressive sounds - from scared to silly.

The illustrations are hand-drawn and based on the 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 …

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 …

The Harvest Festival, Stories from Number Town by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

The Harvest Festival is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Nun Nine who is gathering items from each of the people in town, like 3 cartons of eggs from Freda Three the Farmer and 5 jars of honey from Mr. Hive Five.

As a digital book, this title is well made with easy swipe page turning or the alternative of auto-play. The text highlights as it is narrated in a crisp Australian accent. There are several small interactive sound effects to go along with the otherwise still images, like the sound of bees Read more …

Emma Loves Pink by WingedChariot Press

Emma loves Pink is an adorable little ebook with charming illustrations and sweet narration. The story is about Emma, a little girl who loves pink. And I mean REALLY loves pink. She'd like everything to be pink, even the trees and sky. When her froggy friend gives her a present, she imagines all sorts of pink things it could be ... but then discovers it is a cabbage. This green veggie is tasty though and she decides maybe green isn't such a bad color afterall. When she kisses froggy on the cheek to thank him, he turns pink with embarrassment, much to her delight.

This book has simple page swiping and is solidly made. There is also a small 'extra' called "stickers" that lets the child pick Read more …