Violet and the Candy Thief - Interactive Halloween Storybook by Black Dog Books, LLC

In this new adventure about a little girl who has an alter-ego she calls “Phantom Girl”, readers have a new mystery to solve. Who is eating all the candy? Children will love exploring this interactive gem of a book. It features very light animation paired with great storytelling and a charming main character. There’s lots to play with in this sort-of scary & super-fun read!

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

The Candy Factory HD - Children's Story Book by TouchyBooks S.L.

What child doesn't fantasize about having a candy factory all to themselves? This sweet tale, reminiscent of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, tells the story of two children that ride a cotton candy cloud one night to visit an abandoned 'confectionary'. They meet mysterious little creatures inside, along with vats of candy in every flavor and type.

This app, from Touchy Books, features richly colored illustrations by Silvia Alvarez to complement the enchanting story. As the developer name implies, these books are very 'touchable' with lots of interactive elements that enhance the story with light animation and sound effects. Birds chirp & fly across the page, lights turn on and Read more …

Mr. Cupcake Has The Sprinkles – An Interactive Animated Storybook App For Kids HD by Mighty Yeti Studios

Mr Cupcake Has The Sprinkles is the first interactive storybook by Half Moon Bay, California- based Mighty Yeti Studios.  It is a silly yet very creative story about a cupcake who is on his way to a birthday party for a cookie.  As he was leaving his house, he heard a crunching noise.  This noise bothered him so much that he couldn’t leave for the party without investigating who or what was causing it.

The thing that stood out to me in this book is the main character, Mr. Cupcake.  I don’t think I have ever seen a cupcake personified in a book or a cartoon.  He has hair that looks like frosting and puts on sprinkles on his head instead of a hat.  If Read more …

Auracle – Miko "It was me, Mom!" – HD by Auryn, Inc

The Miko series, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, has been among my child's favorites in print for many years. This title was published in 2005 and features a story about little Miko (an adorable mouse) breaking a vase while his mom is out. Miko has to decide how to tell her even though he's afraid she'll be mad. I was delighted to have this title for my digital library, since it is out-of-print. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series.

"Mom will be mad when she finds out! Maybe we won't get dessert anymore." worries Miko, talking to his stuffed mouse named Mimiki. Miko cleans up Read more …

Just Shopping with Mom - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Just Shopping with Mom by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1989. It tells the story of Little Critter and his two siblings on a trip to the grocery story with their mom. The little sister in particular is giving her mom trouble, asking for things and disappearing down the aisles. For once, Little Critter is the voice of reason, trying to drag his sister back and get her to put stuff back. The digital version of this story also adds a new twist, keeping track as the reader tries to find all the little mice (19 total) hidden on almost every page.

Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal is Little Critter?" According to Wikipedia, Mercer Mayer did not specify which type of Read more …

Land of Mislaid, an interactive children's story by YipYip

In Land of Mislaid by developer YipYip, Hannah is spending time with her grandpa when she realizes that her peppermint has gone missing. Grandpa, who may be covering the fact that he ate her peppermint, suggests that the candy decided to travel to the Land of Mislaid. They then take an imaginative journey, interacting with various characters created from items lying around the living room. A teapot, cups, spoons, and lamps all help direct the travelers through their journey. I will not spoil how the story ends, but it is a unique and imaginative tale.

Like most book apps, this one offers the option of text only or having the narration read aloud. There is no Auto Play option, Read more …

The Lettermen go to the Shops by SN Squared Limited

This fun digital storybook under the category "Education" is interactive in a way that not only makes reading fun, but reinforces spelling, reading and sight words. The 'lettermen' themselves are simple but engaging cartoon letters with hands and feet. They are very appealing to kids and have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page. This tale has the 'lettermen' going shopping. The narration is a British English speaker and is crisp and clear.

The Lettermen was a series of books created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 1993. According to the information page in the book, "It was never intended to be an educational system Read more …

The Lettermen go to the Fair by SN Squared Limited

This fun digital storybook under the category "Education" is interactive in a way that not only makes reading fun, but reinforces spelling, reading and sight words. The 'lettermen' themselves are simple but engaging cartoon letters with hands and feet. They are very appealing to kids and have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.

This tale has the 'lettermen' going to the fair. The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The Lettermen was a series of books created in the late 1980's by Roger Knights. This book was published in print in 1993. According to the information page in the book, "It was never intended to be an educational Read more …

My Parents Are Crazy! by Confidence Through Characters, Inc.

My Parents Are Crazy! is an animated, interactive book app from Confidence Through Characters, Inc. It was created by Katherine Geerdes, an educator from Southern California, and is designed to encourage children to read. It has optional narration, word highlighting,(which can also be switched on in read-by-myself mode), and the volume of the background sounds can be adjusted. it also includes a “learn” section with colorful flashcards featuring the sight words from the app, the sight word is spoken if these are touched. There is a page navigation option, so it is easy to return to favorite pages. The app is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links. Read more …

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, from Canadian app developer Loud Crow Interactive, is a universal app and an adaptation of the classic Halloween story from Charles M. Schulz. If you are looking for a slice of Halloween nostalgia you need look no further. It has the orignal music, artwork and dialog from the TV Special and is narrated by Peter Robbins the original voice of Charlie Brown.  You can switch the narration off, and control the background music level independently. The words are highlighted as it is read, and touching individual words makes them be spoken too.

The app opens to a old record player playing a record of the soundtrack and you then open a book to Read more …

Chocolate Attack! - An Interactive Picture Book by Apologue Entertainment, LLC

Chocolate Attack! is, in many ways, an ideal digital book. It has fun graphics, a cute story line, educational value, a clear moral and takes full advantage of the touch screen with interactive elements on nearly every page. The interactivity is varied and well integrated into the story while capturing the whimsy of being able to touch the screen and make the picture dance. The animations are also hidden a little, like the fire hydrant can be tapped to get water to spurt out, but not so hidden as to encourage a child to tap constantly, like a Pavlovian experiment gone awry.

The first page has a spinning sun, for instance, that my child instinctively reached out and touched, soon discovering Read more …

Taby the Little Mouse by PT.Nightspade Multi Kreasi

Taby the Little Mouse is visually enchanting as a digital book and has really wonderful interactivity. It also has high quality music (although on a 'loop') and beautiful illustrations. It is very well executed as an app, with easy page turning and a very intuitive interface. The story also has a simple and elegant quality to it that was initially appealing.

The unique style of interactivity involves dragging and dropping images. Each page starts out with a beautiful background image and several outlined elements. At the bottom of the screen a bar appears with several small icons. The child then touches and drags the little icons to fit them into the scene. When you release the icon over Read more …