The Three Pandas Animated Storybook by See Here Studios LLC

This is a delightful interpretation of Goldilocks and The Three Bears - featuring a cute little Chinese girl named Mei Mei. In The Three Pandas, Mei Mei takes a tour of the pandas home, just like the familiar story of Goldilocks. However, in this version, Mei Mei has the manners to send an apology after running off into the forest. The pandas respond by inviting her over to fix the chair and share a meal. I really liked this twist.

The book itself is innovative in digital form, combining animated photos of the pandas, Mei Mei and their surroundings along with computer generated graphics - like the enchanting scenes of the bamboo forest. The music is also beautifully done, enhancing the Read more …

Wild About Books by Random House Digital, Inc.

From Random House Books, this is an exceptional title about a librarian who accidentally drives the bookmobile into the zoo. Determined to inspire a love of reading in her patrons, regardless of their species, Ms. McGrew finds titles for every last animal and even teaches them about how to care for books properly. This whimsical storyline is one that kids will love and identify with too, since young children are often as hard on their books as any monkey in the zoo!

Wild About Books was first published in print in 2004. Author Judy Sierra dedicated the book to Doctor Seuss and it was published on what would have been his 100th birthday. Several places in the book make subtle reference to Read more …

Laloo the Red Panda by Laloo LLC

An adorable little red panda cub who loves bugs stars in this story, which includes lots of action and suspense as little Laloo gets trapped by a poacher and then makes friends (including many new bugs) on his long journey home. Many insect species are also highlighted in the story, along with great information about the culture and natural environment of East Asia. Subtle but engaging interactive elements are well-crafted, although hints for some of them would be a nice addition.

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens, or shining-cat), is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China, with fewer than 10,000 adults of the Read more …

Pan: The Fearless Beribolt by Lollihop, INC.

Pan: TheFearless Beribolt  is such a rich and character driven well-told story. We really enjoyed reading about Pandora as she ventured into new lands and adventures. I think you will find this will quickly become a favorite in your household. This is absolutely one of my favorites storybook apps I have reviewed.  ove this!

So off their go on their first field trip below with their elders who are taking the class to Nightbug Falls. There was only one rule for the day – don’t touch the plants. But of course, Pandora couldn’t resist and we are told to touch the lilies to release the night bugs. Once we do that – the entire screen fills up 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 …

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 …

The Lettermen go to the Zoo by Stefan Nowak

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 zoo. 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 …

Georgie and the Birthday Girl by BammBosh Ltd

Georgie and the Birthday Girl is an adorable, interactive digital storybook by Colin Treanor with developer bammbosh. Featuring a magic dog kennel and a puppy named Georgie, this book will enchant young listeners and pre-K readers with its cute cartoon characters. The story has unique interactivity that lets the child drive the narrative, alongside light animation. It is also narrated with highlighting of a delightfully crisp British accent (including British spelling in the text).

The storyline is simple but well tailored for this young audience. Georgie's friends plan a special treat for Pebbles, a cute panda. With a little ingenuity, they make their plans a success despite meddling by an Read more …

Kung Fu Panda 2 Interactive Cookbook by Castle-Builders (IL) Ltd.

A hit movie can live on in a commemorative iPad book, but this app takes the experience a step further. The world of Kung Fu Panda 2 is now open for cooking classes! This app presents 'how-to' videos for 19 Asian-themed recipes along with a bundle of extra features and several clips from the movie.

Each video is presented in a straight forward way with a professional cook narrating as she prepares each dish with the help of a young boy. The videos are useful but the book also has a play button that narrates the written recipe, highlighting as it reads. Most of the dishes are simple enough for children to assist in the preparation, although picky eaters might not find much on the menu they'd Read more …

Kung Fu Panda 2 Storybook by FrogDogMedia LLC

This app version of the movie, "Kung Fu Panda 2," is a visually beautiful book on the iPad.  It captures all the major plot points from the movie while doing a nice retelling of Po "living his dream as the Dragon Warrior protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, the Furious Five". For fans of the Kung Fu Panda movies, this iPad book version will be a fun trip through all their favorite scenes.

This book is not animated or interactive, but instead a true 'storybook' in digital form, with a clean, easy to read font and delightful narration featuring authentic voices of the characters in the movie. I particularly like these storybooks as a Read more …

Kung Fu Panda Holiday Storybook by FrogDogMedia LLC

Po, the Kung Fu Panda, is chosen to host the grand 'winter feast' that features a 27-course meal with 7 bowls & 40 chopsticks per place setting. Po tries to enlist his father to help him with all the cooking, but he won't leave their restaurant on the feast day when so many customers are relying on him. The furious five help out with the cooking, but in the end Po chooses to be a good son rather than a good host. Overall a solidly made book app that features stunningly crisp scenes from the movie but no enhancements beyond narration & a cute extra game of finding the hidden lantern on every one of the nearly 40 pages.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed Read more …

An Amazing Day At The Zoo by Imaginatronics LLC

This educational app is filled with over a dozen detailed, educational descriptions of zoo animals. In a window on each page, there is a video showing the animal in its natural environment. The videos play silently with a background of assorted animal noises. Each page is narrated by a little girl named Sarah who adds personal commentary to many of the stops throughout this 'zoo trip'. Videos can be seen in full screen mode with a quick two finger gesture, although the image is less clear in the larger view.

I found the narration nice enough, but it was a little too enthusiastic in a way that becomes grating on the listener over time. The book is educational though, and my son and I Read more …

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