The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd.

The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd. has just been released. This is the second in the series of magnificent multilingual storybook apps for young readers! This charismatic tale is recommended for children ages six to eleven, and we are sure that many adults will also savor this awesome adventure just as much as any child. This is a classic story that has taken a new twist in letting the reader decide the path by asking which way should they go? Reader, can you help them choose? This app book was written by Jose Miguel Vilar-Bou and Matias Alinovi and illustrated by Alejaandra Zuniga Cardenas, a talented team that takes the finest care in every Read more …

Steam Train, Dream Train by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Published in print in 2013, this delightful digital book was authored by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, creators of the critcally acclaimed Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. With light animation and educational features like touch-to-hear text, Steam Train, Dream Train captures young listeners with a lyrical tale. Immensely rereadable, this story follows a sleepy-time train filled with animals heading to dreamland. From a dashing young rabbit to snacking dinosaurs, the various scenes will amuse young and old alike.

Extra features include the ability to record your own narration as well as excellent navigation with a nice visual thumbnail Read more …

Look Out 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 out (instead of bugging him) by poking Larry to warn him about several hazards. You can wake Larry up from his nap so he can escape from a spider, snake, eagle and many other dangers. Then, as a bonus treat, a second series of pages show Larry 'dreaming' of being able to vanquish his predators. For instance, in his dream he doesn't run away from the spider. Instead, he becomes a fire-breathing dragon and scares the spider away. This extra story is adorable and the entire book is one of my little boy's favorite apps.

It's been nearly a year since the first book in this series was published. At the Read more …

Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Fifty years ago this month, Dr. Seuss published this popular bedtime story, now available in a beautiful digital presentation from Oceanhouse Media. Starting with a very small bug (named Van Vleck) to the Zizzer-Zoof Seed salesmen, children will be enthralled by the detailed and imaginative illustrations in this book. Screen after colorful screen shows sleepers of every shape and size, adding up a "Who's-Asleep-Score" that needs just one more (the reader).

Many adults treasure a favorite title from Seuss' prolific collection of picture books, written in the latter half of the 20th century. After reviewing dozens of these classics in app form, I am delighted to finally review the Seuss I Read more …

What a Bad Dream - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

What a Bad Dream by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1992. It tells the story of Little Critter and a dream he has where a magic potion turns him into a monster that no one wants to be around! The touching ending is one little (human) critters will readily identify with and one that will (hopefully) bring sweet dreams. The digital version of this story also adds a new twist, keeping track as the reader tries to find all the little grasshoppers and spiders (20 of each) hidden on 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 Read more …

Rom and the whale of dreams by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd.

Rom and the Whale of Dreams, by BelMontis, is a magical dreamy tale written by Jose Miguel Vilar-Bou and illustrated by Alejaandra Zuniga that takes place in the enchanting Kingdom of Gypsies called Numia. This is where imagination is the ruler and dreaming is a thing of the past. For the people of Numia have forgotten how to dream and must suffice with only their daydreams. The young Prince Rom has a recurring dream about a whale creature and he decides to go off looking for this mysterious animal. This wonderful fairy-like tale is available in three different languages, English, Chinese and Spanish.

What child doesn’t love a great story? Great stories never grow old! Read more …

Peterkin Meets A Star HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

I am re-reviewing this truly wonderful little book now that the developer, PicPocket Books, has updated it with high-resolution images worthy of the iPad. It is such a delight to see this story's crisp watercolor illustrations!

Peterkin Meets a Star was published in print in 1985 by Random House Books for Young Readers.  It is out of print (unless you have an iPad), although when I checked Amazon for ratings of the print version, I did find used copies available for sale and three 5-star reviews from people clearly excited to find any copy of a much sought after favorite.  I vaguely remember reading this book to the kids I babysat - the year sounds about right. :)

Peterkin, a Read more …

Pillow Mountain by Van Winkle Studio LLC

The story is a short twelve pages of rhyming fun about a boy named Nolan who has a scary dream and decides to face his fears. The app is cleanly designed and clearly made for the littlest users but gives parents a nice list of settings to choose from. The app opens directly to the first page of the story and begins the narration unprompted. Narration is a calm-sounding woman that we all want to sound like when reading to our kids.

Pages are turned by pushing arrows and readers can go forward or backward at any time to pages. There is a button at the top that opens the page selection, settings, information and mute. Settings include the options to turn off or on all sound, button tap Read more …

Around the World with Lilup by Mythos Machine LLC

Lilup is a dog that is so fluffy he just floats away one day. On his journey, he visits many parts of the world by flying over and then gently landing to visit the wild animals below. Then he returns home to rest & dream of his adventures. He soars in the sky with birds, glides over ice, plays with several animals, splashes in the water and even joins in on a hunt.

Many of these adventures offer the reader the chance to interact with Lilup or the other animals by tapping or tilting the device. The scene with the penguins sliding on the ice and then 'huddling' together were my little boy's favorites, always making him giggle. None of these interactions are especially animated, but Read more …

Diana Dreams about Dinosaurs HD by Genera Games

Diana Dreams about Dinosaurs is a delightful animated title from TouchyBooks. It has wonderful interactive elements that reinforce the cute story about a little girl obsessed with dinosaurs. She wakes up to find all the people in town turned into dinosaurs, from the mailman to her teacher at school. But when the school bell rings, she wakes up again to find her own alarm clock making the noise - she had been dreaming! The book then repeats her day with people in place of the dinos, although they are all still sort-of dino-shaped, amusing little Diana to no end.

Fun things to trigger include making Diana run down the stairs and cross the street with the light properly. There are so many of Read more …

Little Bella's - I Close My Eyes by Out Fit 7 Ltd.

Little Bella is a relatively short, animated book released for the iPhone/iPod only.   This book is often a favorite "last book" at bedtime in our house, since the ending has little Bella falling into bed & going to sleep herself.  We usually avoid overly animated or interactive books before bed, since they can be too stimulating, but the overall effect of the music & dreamy animation is relaxing enough even for nighttime.

Each page has little Bella stating in her cute Australian accent, "I close my eyes and I am ..." followed by 12 different imaginative statements, ranging from climbing the tallest tree to becoming a dolphin diving in the ocean.  My son was Read more …

Twinkle, Twinkle, Nighty Night by Alexis Purcell

Twinkle, Twinkle, Nighty Night is a sweet book featuring very light animation and simple interactivity that is well tailored to the storyline. Crisp, colorful illustrations with lots of fun details will appeal to children as the nice narration highlights along with the text. The storyline is simple but charming, as the reader gathers items (happy dreams) to deliver to each of the animals (who are having trouble sleeping). Interactivity is perfect for little ones and is not activated until narration ends. A great length and topic for bedtime, although activity apps can be a distraction for young children at night. A page guide would be a nice addition, but parents will be pleased to find no Read more …

Surf Angel by Grids Interactive, LLC

From the creators of the 5-Star hit, The Truly Great Noodle, we have another lovely app from Grids Interactive. This one is very different, though. It is an ethereal title about a fairy that surfs in the night sea, looking out for danger while children sleep and sea life frolic. Told in well-crafted rhymes with very light animation but no other enhancements, this is a perfect title for bringing sweet dreams after pajama storytime.

This title is solidly made and has nice settings that even allow you to record your own narration. The narration that comes with the book is nice, although a bit soft, making it difficult to hear in a noisy environment. Sound effects in the background (of ocean Read more …

Wish upon a Star HD by Genera Games

Wish Upon a Star introduces readers to a surreal world of dreaming villagers in this new title from the Touchybooks collection. This interactive and lightly animated book app tells a tale about dreamers who long for better lives. When mysterious 'falling' stars make their dreams come true, each of the four main characters discovers that the things they left behind weren't so bad afterall.

This app features interesting interactivity alongside color-drenched graphics. The book alternates between pages with just text and wordless pages with illustrations and interactivity. It is solidly made with arrow page turning (in the cool shape of flowers). Beautiful, but haunting music accompanies Read more …

Where Do the Swans Sleep? - a fairy tale picture book by HAORGA GmbH Computersysteme-Service-Beratung

*Note: This storybook contains no text for the story for read-along, only audio narration.* 

Looking for a picture book app for tonight’s bedtime? Check out Where Do the Swans Sleep? by Felix Hofmann. This picture book app includes music, audio narration and stunning illustrations where kids follow Felix on an exciting dream journey through the wild, in search of the answer to one question: 'Where do the swans sleep?'

Your kids follow Felix, a young boy that turned into a swan in his dream and goes on a journey in search of an answer. There are 9 beautifully illustrated pages, each one with music and audio narration but no text. Although we like the concept, we found that Read more …

Flight of the Pamplemousse by Whynoceros LLC

Flight of the Pamplemousse is an original iPad tale told in rhyming verse about a boy who dreams about a mythical creature called the "Pamplemousse". He overhears a story half in French that includes a reference to grapefruit or 'pamplemousse' while he is falling asleep, causing him to imagine a fanatastic adventure with a giant Moose-like creature with wings.

This night-time dreaming adventure features beautiful, although almost hypnotic, narration in a crisp British accent. The story may be over many of the youngest readers heads, although my Kindergartner understood it best when I read it to him aloud with different pacing and emphasis, asking questions along the way. The app also Read more …

Bert E. Bird The Third And The Book Of Great Ideas by Gil Gur Arie

Bert E. Bird the Third and the Book of Great Ideas is a charming app from a new development studio, SoundBox Multimedia, headed up by Gil Gur Arie. This digital book is exceptional in many ways, crafting a fun story with well-tailored interactivity on every page. Play mini-games, tap characters and more in this nicely produced digital storybook for kids 6 and up.

The tale itself begins with a page that says, "The End". This is foreshadowing for a story that is just beginning and will eventually begin again. We meet the main character, Bert E. Bird (The Third) and discover that he has a bit of trouble while falling asleep because of all his fantastical ideas. The story goes on to share Read more …


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