Kalley's Machine Plus Cats by RocketWagon, LLC

It’s a book.  It’s a machine.  It’s a book machine.  Kalley’s Machine Plus Cats by Rocket Wagon is a beautiful and brilliant storybook app unlike any I have ever seen.  It is a true story about a little girl who wished her Dad could stay home with her instead of having to go to work, so she cleverly designed a machine that she believed would make her wish come true.  She knew that one reason her Dad had to work was so they could have food to eat and she thought that if she built a machine that could make food, then her Dad would not have to work anymore.  This little girl is the daughter of the author and developer of this app.  He Read more …

A Jazzy Day - Music Education Book for Kids by The Melody Book LLC

Young music lovers (and their parents) are in for a treat with A Jazzy Day: Swinging with the BIG BAND ... an animated, interactive and enriching musical tale about one hip cat 'dad' taking his cool-cat kittens to see the big band play. All of the musicians are animated animal characters, beautifully illustrated and instructive as they demonstrate each of their instruments. Learn about the different sections of the band, from rhythm to horns and even the role of the conductor.

This tale is simple but well-crafted, describing the sounds and images that make up complex jazz melodies. When they meet the raccoon playing the bass, it says, "Close your eyes, do you hear the bass walking?" The Read more …

The Cat in the Hat - Read & Learn - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Cat in the Hat - Read & Learn is a new app from the talented team at Oceanhouse Media. Launched in 2009, this developer has produced hundreds of high-quality apps for young readers, including all of the titles from Dr. Seuss. Their new version of The Cat in The Hat will not disappoint, but what is different in this title? How has "Read & Learn" improved or changed the digital reading experience?

If you have seen earlier Dr. Seuss book apps, you'll know that most of the titles have little or no animation and limited interactivity. These well-constructed apps are a staple of digital reading and valuable still, but the new "Read & Learn" version takes advantage of the Read more …

Lulu in Australia by ZANZIBOOK

Lulu is a little French girl who goes on adventures around the world with her cat, Zazou. This story is about their first trip in the series ... to Australia. The book is lightly animated and full of delightful interactivity that makes the reader a part of the story. Almost every page has elements to tap that move the story along or provide additional dialogue and information about the part of the world they are exploring.

The app is well made with lots of features, including a map that allows you to explore the story of their Australian travels in a non-linear way. The text doesn't highlight as read, but it is in a clear, easy to read font ideal for young readers. This book also features Read more …

Leonard by Ink Robin, Inc

From the developers behind the 5-Star book app, Will & Kate: A Love Story, comes another hit. Attention to detail, polished enhancements, and top notch pacing make anything by Ink Robin a must-download app. This title treats readers to a story about a little boy with a BIG imagination. Leonard wants to make friends, but after moving to the country he discovers that it is harder than ever to find anyone to play with. He (and his blue cat) have many whimsical adventures before Leonard decides to build a friend instead (robot lovers will enjoy this plot twist).

From the moment you open this app, there is something to amuse, even on the cover page. A small 'lever' appears on Read more …

Babel, the King - EPIC animated storybook by EPIC Web Agency Sprl

Babel, The Cat Who Would Be King is a stunning new book from EPIC, where 'every pixel counts' (and it shows). Told in English or French, this must-download app weaves a tale about an ambitious cat, a sly caged bird and a castle built to touch the sky. Full of political intrigue, plot twists and charming characters, this beautifully illustrated title is one of the most unusual and enjoyable apps to come across my screen in a long time. It even features subtle literary allusions (especially to the biblical Tower of Babel) in a way that will have both adults and children riveted from the first page to the last. The story, music and polished production values for all the Read more …

Midnight Feast by Dan Hare

Midnight Feast is another exquisite tale from the creators of The Artifacts. Complex and hauntingly beautiful, the story follows the night-time imagination of a young teen who longs to stay up past her bedtime for what she pictures is a vast banquet. Gorgeous illustrations and beautifully paced interactive dialog create an immersive reading experience for readers ages nine and up. Polished production values, thoughtful settings and the inclusion of close reading notes round out this stellar new title.

Tapping is not so much for exploring randomly in this app but an extension of the reading experience. Your fingers absorb part of the story by unlocking it, deepening your understanding of the Read more …

A Present for Milo: A Touch-and-Surprise Storybook by Ruckus Media Group

A Present for Milo is one of the best books I've come across for children under age 6. The words in the book are very simple and the illustrations tell the story as much as the text. Milo is a cat, chasing a mouse in the book, but it never feels like a dangerous chase. In fact, they seem to be having the time of their lives! The reader gets to be part of this adventure, triggering whimsical 'reactions' from the two charming characters, as well as bringing other items in the pictures to life with seemingly endless possibilities.

This delightful interactivity is enhanced by animation that doesn't steal the show. This is particularly nice in a title for the very young and makes this book an Read more …

Jazzy World Tour - Musical Journey for Kids by The Melody Book LLC

Jazzy World Tour - Musical Journey for Kids, from My Melody Book is much more than a reading app, although it includes plenty to explore in text, describing each of the locations on the map. These include the United States (New York), Ireland, Brazil, Spain, Egypt, Kenya, India, Japan and Australia. Children can record their travels in a digital travel book, collecting photos of their journey. The navigation is intuitive in this solidly made app for children ages 3 to 8.

Each location has the choice of Learn, Create and Play. Tap "Learn" and you can tap items like musical instruments, traditional foods and other items from each culture featured to find out more about them. Tap "Play" to Read more …

Mog the Forgetful Cat by Harper Collins Publishers Limited

Based on the Judith Kerr title published in print in 2006, this delightful interactive storybook hits just the right note for families with cats. Children and adults will easily identify with the adorable and bumbling antics of Mog, a cat that is more of a lover than a genius. Simple things like realizing how to get inside the house through the cat door elude poor Mog, who prefers to tap on the kitchen window to be let in. If you've ever loved a cat, you will recognize a little Mog in them.

At first the family considers Mog a nuisance, even if they are rather fond of the cat, until one day when Mog manages to foil an intruder. The story of this hapless cat and his very tolerant family will Read more …

Millie's Crazy Dinosaur Adventure - Millie Was Here, Book 3 by MegaPops LLC

Millie’s Crazy Dinosaur Adventure – Millie Was Here, Book 3 by Megapops LLC is another wonderful tale from the makers of Millie and the Lost Key. As with all of the Megapops apps featuring Millie the dog, this story is as zany as ever. It has all the components needed to draw kids in and keep them totally mesmerized. Parents rejoice, this is one sophisticated app that packs a punch every time. The unique photo collage style and gaming feel give this app an edge over others.

Join Millie as she travels back in time to retrieve the forgotten birthday gift for her dear friend Kitty and accidentally ventures back a tad farther than planned. Help the story take twists Read more …

Lulu in the Amazon by ZANZIBOOK

Lulu is a little French girl who goes on many adventures around the world with her cat, Zazou. This story is about their third trip in the series ... to the Amazon. These titles are lightly animated and full of interactivity elements that draw the reader into the story. Every page has elements to tap that move the story along or provide additional dialogue and information about the part of the world they are exploring. A small green bird can also be found in every scene. This series is also packed with games. Help Lulu fish, make a feather headdress or even write a souvenir postcard to a friend (Note: This feature uses your email account).

This app is well made with lots of features, Read more …

Lulu in Polynesia by ZANZIBOOK

Lulu is a little French girl who goes on many adventures around the world with her cat, Zazou. This story is about their second trip in the series ... to French Polynesia. The pair arrive by air, this time parachuting onto the islands. This title is lightly animated and full of interactivity that makes the reader a part of the story. Every page has elements to tap that move the story along or provide additional dialogue and information about the part of the world they are exploring. A small pink bird can also be found in every scene. Watch Lulu dance, help her prepare a Tahitian salad and even write a souvenir postcard to a friend (Note: This feature uses your email account).

This app is Read more …

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys by LITTLE BAHALIA PUBLISHING LLC

Little Bahalia Publishing's first book app, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, is a short but sweet title featuring gorgeous illustrations with polished animation and well-crafted interactive elements. Each page has a different animal featured with the proper plural term for a group of each species. From a parliament of owls to a tower of giraffes, children will enjoy learning about the unique (and often comical) names for multiple creatures of any type. Among my child's favorites was the bloat of hippopotami and the quiver of cobras.

The story is simple, but well put together with subtle alliteration and nicely paced rhyming text. Colorful and engaging illustrations come to life with a Read more …

Benny the Cat by Touchoo by Touchoo

Benny the Cat is a truly adorable little book. It is simple and sweet with a story about an orange tabby that likes to play with yarn, be petted and the usual favorite kitty past-times. The reader gets to interact with Benny, too. The child can move little pillows on the screen to find Benny, help pick out Benny's favorite plaything and even pet him with some serious purring as a result.

This book has the perfect kind of interactivity, drawing the child into the story. It's also educational. One page lets the child tap anywhere on Benny to hear about the parts of the body, like eyes, paws & ears. It even teaches about what are appropriate toys for a cat & not to feed cats human Read more …

When I Grow Up - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

When I Grow Up - Little Critter by Mercer Mayer is part of a sub-series of Little Critter titles that feature his cute little sister. Published in print in 1991, this adorable story shares a young girl's dreams for her future, including becoming a ballet dancer, truck driver and baker of tasty treats. In the end, she is reminded that she is getting hungry. When mom answers that dinner will be, "Liver and beans," she thinks to herself, "I can't wait until I grow up!" The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find all 20 of the little cats that Mayer has hidden in his detailed illustrations.

Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal Read more …

Splish! Splash! Splosh! HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

This is another beautifully illustrated title from Gina Ricci, author of Far to the North. Like her other digital book apps, this one is a short but beautiful tale. It is about a little girl named Sophie, her cat Sam and a lot of raindrops and puddles. It has all the trappings of a good children's picture book. It is filled with gorgeous illustrations and a sweet, lyrical story perfect for reading (or listening), even at bedtime.

Splish! Splash! Splosh! is also lightly animated and interactive, just enough to engage young readers without distracting from the story. Rain drops fall in most scenes and if you tap on the pictures, you can hear splashing or the meow of little Sam, Read more …

Scott's Submarine by Charly Playe

Scott's Submarine is a cute digital book about an underwater adventure. The book has a unique graphic style and storyline that can be read at two age levels (2-3 & 4+) which could also translate nicely to reading levels for early readers and those who are more advanced. The book also has settings for multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French & Japanese. This makes it a terrific choice for foreign language learning & practice.

As a digital book, this title really stands out most for its stunning computer graphics. There is a lot to see and to do in this book, too, and while it is not really animated, there are several fun scenes that 'vibrate' to give the Read more …

Puss in Boots - The Great Adventure by Lucia Masciullo

From Blue Quoll, creators of Mr. Wolf and the Ginger Cupcakes, comes another whimsically re-imagined folk tale, this time featuring the story of Puss in Boots. The tale follows some of the familiar classic, but the overall narrative is entirely unique. The ogre can 'transform into all animals' and 'has a thousand chests of gold', but in this retelling, he has one very unique soft spot, a tiny kitten he loves and loses. This little cat grows up to become 'Puss in Boots', the pet of one rather musical son of a local miller.

As a digital book, this one is delightful, with nice narration, music and truly beautiful illustrations. The hand-drawn, water colors featured in this story are Read more …

The King’s Stilts - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The King's Stilts is one of Dr. Seuss's earliest books, published in print in 1939 and featuring low-color illustrations, primarily black and red, common in picture books of that era. This book has all the whimsy that Seuss would become known for in his later publications, but the story is told in prose rather than verse. The digital version, created by Oceanhouse Media, will be a treat for young readers, with enhancements that give it a modern feel without losing any of the charm of the original print title. 

King Bertram Binn galavants around his kingdom on a pair of red stilts, until one of his ministers plots to steal them because he thinks it is unseemly for the king to Read more …

The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Cat in the Hat is obviously a 'must have' in any collection, whether it's a digital library or a set of hardcover books with gilded pages. This version is no exception, with bright beautiful pictures of the beloved classic Dr. Seuss. For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is read. Although each page is essentially a still image, many pages begin by panning over Seuss' classic original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each segment of text, a nice semi-animated style.

Otherwise, the book has no real animation, although most of the items pictured in the story react to a light tap with a visual image of the word with accompanying audio (for example, tap on the Read more …

Professor Garfield Forms of Media by Paws Incorporated

The Professor Garfield apps from Infinite Learning Lab, a popular non-profit foundation with a great website for kids content, is one of those free series that came out early in the launch of the iPad. I don't know how I managed to miss this exceptional set of titles. Recently, my 6 year old became a rather fluent reader and has been obsessed with the Garfield cartoon books from our local library.

So I decided to just search the app store for other "Garfield" content in the hopes of treating my 6-year old to something fun on Christmas morning. When I discovered the four-app series from Paws Inc. under the education category, and free, I was truly stunned. These four totally FREE apps Read more …

The Aristocats: Disney Classics by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Hairy Maclary, Scattercat by Penguin New Zealand Pty Ltd

Hairy Maclary is turning 30! This cute terrier mutt stars in a series of popular books by New Zealand author, Lynley Dodd. First published in 1983, the short, rhyming titles follow the antics of a quaint village, with everything revolving around the personalities of some very cute pets. Featuring repetition and simple sentences, these are great early readers, although the proper names of the animals are complex (e.g. Greywacke Jones, Pimpernel Pugh, Slinky Malinki).

Scattercat is about Hairy Maclary's feline nemesis, Scarface Claw. The story is told in rhyming verse as the a mischievious Hairy Maclary trots about town chasing all the town's cats. The tables are turned in a way that is Read more …

Nickelby Swift, Kitten Catastrophe by Mythos Machine LLC

This is a very cute story from VivaBooks. Dr. Kafruganegal is an eccentric & well-intentioned inventor who creates some pretty cool machines that don't always work out so well. Like the invisible pen that no one can find. Or the Glo-Diapers that make the baby glow instead. Add to that mix a curious kitten named Nickelby Swift and it's not hard to see how things could turn quickly to catastrophe.

The book has the essential ingredients for a great iPad book. It is full of engaging interactivity, funny illustrations and has a well-crafted story. It's even well-narrated with the option to record your own voice. My little boy loves this book and laughs out loud at Nickelby's escapades. He Read more …

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Oceanhouse Media

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back is a great sequel to the classic Seuss title, "The Cat in the Hat." In this book the children are shoveling snow while their mother is out. Then in strolls the Cat in the Hat. He immediately takes liberties with their home, running an overflowing bath, while eating cake in the tub. Just like in the prequel, the children fret about the mess he has made right until the last scene.

Eventually the cat cavalierly introduces the kids to his cleaning crew: Little Cat A, B, C & so on, right down to Little Cat Z. Each cat is under the 'hat' of the cat before him, like nesting dolls, making Cat Z invisibly small, of course! In the end the cats manage to save the day, Read more …

House that Jack built - multilingual interactive book by Mediaprofit

This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Note to readers: This rating was expedited by the developer for a small fee. The content of the rating/review is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized.

Owl And Cat - Cute Storybook Based On Famous Edward Lear Poem by Mofables sp. z o.o.

In 1871, Edward Lear published The Owl and the Pussycat, a nonsense poem, as part of his book Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets. It is a beautiful piece of poetry, beloved and set to music frequently, including a 1960's version by Stravinsky. My favorite is from a record I had as a child, by Carly and Lucy Simon on the album, "The Simon Sisters Sing for Children". It makes a lovely accompanyment to this app, and is available on youtube.

As a nonsense poem, this is a delightful one by Lear, featuring a romantic mariner tale about an owl and a cat that sail for a year and a day. Lots of made-up words are included, like bong-trees and the piggy-wig. According to  Read more …

Bean's Baby by appropo llc

An adorable black cat named Bean joins the app world after being introduced to toddlers in print in 1998. This is a precious series about a cat and "his" baby. We see Bean's many 'possessions' ... since anyone with a cat knows they 'own' everything in their environment. But in addition to Bean's ball and his window, there is a baby introduced ... so of course this will be Bean's baby too. Cat and baby lovers will find this equally satisfying, as the timeless love affair begins between a real baby and the 'baby' of the household. Families will enjoy this book as they identify with the tension between a beloved pet and a new bundle of joy.

Author Sarah Hines Stephens shares this well-crafted Read more …

It's Mine by chi kin cheong

This highly interactive book app features engaging ways to draw the reader into the story. Young readers will enjoy spinning the globe, blowing into the microphone and shaking the device, among other tappable elements to discover a world of edutainment within this storytelling app. The plot is simple and fable-like, centered on two store owners who are convinced that one very cute kitten belongs to them alone. In true feline fashion, the cat has been eating twice for every meal and loving it, until he gets sick and the vet discovers his double-life. The two shop keepers battle for this kitty's affections but in the end they discover the joy of sharing much more than a treasured pet.

While Read more …

Picturebook: The Cat that wouldn't move by Orange Books

The Cat That Wouldn't Move strikes me as a book that is as misunderstood as the cat in the story. This has been one of my favorites and frequently read by my little boy and I with lots of giggles to go around. It is, however, a bit strange (the story that is). It's about a cat that won't get off the couch, is obese and even projects a stream of pee into a potty held near him (as an animated scene no less). Clearly it is not funny to everyone and contains material that has been noted in app store reviews as 'inappropriate' for kids, particularly in a classroom setting.

While I do agree that this isn't a great book for sharing with a classroom of other people's children, I wouldn't dismiss Read more …

2 Tigers by 33 Loretta Kids' Books LLC

A tiger cub named Delilah tells this story in the first person, about her experiences with her big sister, Sophie. The two kittens have a lot of fun together and have a lot in common, but like most siblings, they also fight. This is an exceptional book app for toddlers and pre-school aged kids, up to age six. It has a very simple interface and interactivity that is fun but simple enough for little fingers.

Touchable elements are time-limited on each page, meaning the interactivity is not something a young child can play with 'ad infinitum' ... which is perfect for an app for kids under three. The interactive elements are not especially story-related, however, meaning they can present a Read more …

Papa's Boy by Tapisodes Ltd.

Papa's Boy is a beautifully hand-drawn digital book about a father coming to terms with his child's interests. The father mouse was a boxing hero (among mice) and wishes his son was more like him. The boy instead dances ballet, even wearing a pink tutu and pointe shoes as he pirouettes about his room. Papa laments that this wasn't how life was supposed to be as he stares at the trophies and posters of his own youth.

The little boy, however, shows how valuable his skills really are one day when Papa gets trapped by the cat that lives in the toy shop where they reside. The son twirls and jumps in perfect time to the player piano, distracting the cat and helping both his dad and himself escape Read more …

Max the mouse with (almost) perfect manners by Ave!Comics Production

This is an interesting book. It has an engaging and funny story despite an odd technical layout for an iPad book. If you have read many books on the iPad, this book initially has an unconventional interface that takes a little getting used to. It can be read by paging through the book without narration or it can also be essentially 'played' as a video that is inset on the screen in a window that is slightly smaller than the full screen view.

The book also includes some complicated settings that I didn't find necessary to enjoy the book - something called 'White Mask' and 'Transparency', plus settings to make the picture even smaller than the inset view. I found the book a bit touchy to set Read more …

Paddle Duck in Where's Carrie Cat? An Interactive Story by PaddleDuck Pty Limited

This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Note to readers: This rating was expedited by the developer for a small fee. The content of the rating/review is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized.

Spaghetti Day HD by PicPocket Books

"Do you ever wonder what your pet cats do when you leave them home alone?" asks the narrator of this cute book.  Pictured is a large, orange tabby cat slurping spaghetti out of a bowl as big as she is.  It features a group of neighborhood cats that gather to cook and eat gourmet meals. This book was published in print in 1990 by author Maryann Cocca-Leffler.  

This is a 'silly' book that is amusing even if it is far fetched.  The illustrations are lovely, athough the whole book had a blurry feeling to it that made me think it wasn't entirely HD.  The text within the story at one point is even a bit pixelated.  Perhaps an HD version?  But these are Read more …

Billy the SpaceCat - Narrated Children's Story by Ardit Bajraktari

The story of Billy the Space Cat is a fun read for kids with a message about not giving up on your dreams.  It is a sweet story about a cat that wants to fly and after many failed attempts, gets to go up in an airplane, instead.  This story has crisp graphics with a charming & easy to follow story.  It is narrated and has some sound effects (not interactive) that start on each page (i.e. a meow, sound of a rocket, spashing, etc.).

The narrator of this book seems to have taken tranquilizers before reading, though, since the narration is so slow that it almost has a bedroom-voice quality to it.  Oddly, the narrator speeds up as she gets into her stride later in the Read more …

Punky Goldfish by Moo Goo Media, LLC

This is a sweet, rhyming book about a cat that dreams of catching a goldfish. Little Punky Dunk watches a bird in it's cage and the fish in their tank longingly, wishing that he could change his diet to include something a bit fresher. In the end he dips his paw & nose in the water but only gets wet for his troubles.

This app is based on the public domain text and illustrations from a title published in 1912. The story is very short with light interactive animations. Most of pages have just a bit of movement of the images, although everything is well done with a crisp response and nicely integrated sound effects. Text is in a clear, easy to read font that highlights along with lovely Read more …

Alice for the iPad by Atomic Antelope

Alice for the iPad by Atomic Antelope gives you a unique chance to re-read this children's classic. It is very well designed and offers stunning illustrations, as well as cool interactive features.

This book app has been highly acclaimed in the press:

• “It reinvents reading.” - The Huffington Post 
• "I am blown away.” - Gizmodo
• "The future" - BBC 
• “A new generation of pop-up books.” - The Independent 
• “Shows why e-books are cool.” - Mashable 
• "Sumptuous." - The Sunday Times

Your kids will be delighted to watch Alice grow big as a house or shrink to just six inches tall simply by tilting Read more …

My Cat At Home In The Wild by Jennifer Rogala

My Cat at Home in the Wild is the first book app from children’s author Jennifer Rogala and is based on her print book of the same name. It is accompanied by hand painted illustrations from artist Dwight Kirkland. As well as the story the book also includes some extras-  a game, jigsaw puzzles, and information about big cats. The story does not contain any interactive elements- it is more like an eBook, all the interactive elements are in the extras. The story is narrated, there is no “read by myself” option. I really like the background music – it has a slow drumbeat and haunting feel, that reminds me of Native American music. The narration Read more …

Cats With Spots - Amazing Animals Series (Interactive Story Book & Educational Apps) by Iva Vlasimsky

Cats With Spots is the first title in an app series about wildlife called "Amazing Animals."  It was developed for TreeTop Library and is available for the iPad.  The app includes a story, written by Iva Vlašimsky, plus photos and videos that describe the cheetah and its habitat.  The story includes both “Read to Me” and “Read By Myself” options to accommodate different levels.  Traditional background music can be turned on or off on the Options page.

There are three main navigation tools.  Pages are turned by swiping the right margin of the screen (to advance) or the left margin (to go Read more …