The Kissing Hand by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Based on the 1993 print title, this is an exceptional book app. It stands out not only for its digital charms, but for the role the story has played in comforting young children dealing with separation anxiety for two decades. This Oceanhouse Media title tells the tale of young Chester, a raccoon who is feeling nervous about going to school. "Please may I stay with you?" he begs his mother. She tells him about all the wonderful experiences and friendships he will make at school, but also responds to Chester's heartbreaking plea, sharing a 'secret' he can cherish even when he is far away from home.

The story is well crafted and beautifully imagined in illustrated form. A touching Read more …

Just Me and My Mom - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media

Just Me and My Mom by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1990. It is a beloved story about 'Little Critter' and his mom spending the day together in the city. They take the train and visit lots of places where Little Critter innocently tests his mother's patience. He touches exhibits at the museums, gets them kicked out of a nice restaurant and even loses their train tickets. In the end, though, Little Critter snuggles close to his mom and falls asleep happily on the way home, cherishing the day out with just him and his mom.

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 Read more …

Just Grandma and Me - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1983. It is a beloved story about 'Little Critter' and a trip he takes with Grandma to the beach. He is a cheery companion as he 'helps' by washing the sand off her hot dog in the ocean. He also almost blows away with the beach umbrella and gets to bury Grandma in the sand. She shows good cheer and tireless patience with her favorite little guy.

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 hedgehog, hamster or guinea pig." So, basically he's a rodent ... although a Read more …

I Love You All The Time by Cookie Bear Press, Inc.

With Goodnight Moon, the most read bedtime board book of all time now an app, it stands to reason Cookie Bear Press would jump on the bandwagon as well with their own 1999 classic I Love You All the Time. My twins were born in 2002 and I got a copy of this book with the bright red cover and big heart as a shower gift. I don't remember much from those intensely sleep deprived years, but I do remember reading this book over and over.

This sugar sweet bedtime affirmation by authors Jessica Elin Hirschman and Jennifer Elin Cole has made the transition from paper to pixels rather well. The simplicity of the original is carried over. This is a bedtime story so everything is low key and 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 …

Mrs. Gigglebelly is Coming for Tea by Dipali Vaidya

This is a delightful storybook published in print in 1990. It features a darling little girl named Elizabeth Ann who is convinced her friend, Mrs. Gigglebelly, will join her for tea despite her mother's protests that there isn't time to prepare. As the little girl plans for her guest, her mother frantically tries to finish spring cleaning. While her mother beats the rugs, washes the windows and attends to many household chores, the little girl waits ... and waits.

Then finally 'Mrs. Gigglebelly' arrives. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth Ann, it is her mother who actually is all dressed up in several props from the house, including a lampshade that covers her face. Now her mother's anxiety and Read more …

The Chicken & the Egg HD by Allan Plenderleith

This absolutely adorable storybook app by Allan Plenderleith stars a cute little chicken who cannot seem to lay her very own egg like all the other chickens on the farm. When a stone rolls into her nest after a hard rain, everything changes. Told with well paced narration and exceptionally polished animation and interactivity, this simple story will enchant the youngest readers and anyone young at heart.  

As a digital app this title is very solidly made, although it's a bit sparse on settings. There is no way to turn off the narration for a 'read myself' mode, for instance (other than muting the device), no option for highlighting and not even a page guide to pick a favorite scene Read more …

The Berenstain Bears Bedtime Battle by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Berenstain Bears Bedtime Battle by Stan & Jan Berenstain was published in print for the first time in 1993. In this title Sister & Brother bear argue about bedtime with their parents, sluggishly picking up toys while whining about how unfair things are. Even when Father Bear tries to get the cubs to join in a race to pick up their room, the children are sullen and uncooperative.

In print, the title has received mixed reviews, including several on Amazon.com that point out that unlike many of the other Berenstain Bears' books, this one doesn't seem to have a clear moral. The young bears seem to win in the end, wearing their parents out rather than a typical ending where the whole 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 …

Auracle – MIKO "Mom, Wake up and Play!" – 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) waking up too early and wanting his mom to get up and play with him. 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.

"Can I sleep until the alarm clock rings? Pleasssse?" begs Miko's mom as she snuggles back under the covers. Sound familiar? Miko tries to find something interesting to do while his mom is Read more …

Auracle HD - Miko "Moves Out" by Auryn, Inc

The Miko series, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, has been among my child's favorites in print for many years, published in the past decade. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series. In this title, the eighth and final release of the Auryn Apps series in digital, Miko's mom interrupts his playtime one day to ask him to do his chores. "I'll do it as soon as I'm finished," says the sullen little mouse, upset at the request. When his mother says, "No, you'll do it right now!" Miko loses his temper, yelling "No, I won't!" and "I'm moving out!" as he grabs his doll Mimiki and Read more …

Auracle HD – Miko "No Bath! No Way!" by Auryn, Inc

The Miko series, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, has been among my child's favorites in print for many years, published in the past decade. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series. In this title, Miko's doesn't want to take a bath.

Miko's ever patient mother tries to draw him out of his hiding spot, but ultimately lets him go to sleep unwashed. However her solution is that he can sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag instead of his nice clean bed. "It will be like camping!" exclaims Miko, but his enthusiasm wears off after a few minutes of snuggling in his dirty spot on the Read more …

Auracle HD - Miko "Goes on Vacation" by Auryn, Inc

The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have been among my child's favorites in print for many years, all published in the past decade. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series. In this title, Miko and his mom go to the beach. Feeling nervous about being someplace new where he doesn't know anyone, Miko begins to worry that he shouldn't leave Mimiki alone, even to go swimming.

In a lovely plot twist, Miko finds his own solution by reaching out to another child, under a neighboring beach umbrella. He asks the little girl to watch Mimiki for him. Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Collection #1 by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

An exceptional new app for young readers (with five books in one) is now available from Oceanhouse Media! This is the digital version of the print collection, released in 2009 for the 20th-anniversary of the Five Little Monkeys books, by Eileen Christelow.

This collection includes the following digital titles (click on the title to link to our review):

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do

Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car

In print, this book collection has been a favorite of parents, teachers & young readers. In the digital versions, educational Read more …

Little Critter Collection #1 by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

An exceptional new app for young readers (with ten books in one) is now available from Oceanhouse Media! This is the digital version of the print books, released from 1975 through 1992, by Mercer Mayer.

This collection includes the following digital titles (click on the title to link to our review):

The New Baby

Just Me and My Mom

Just Grandma and Me

I Was So Mad

All By Myself

I Just Forgot

Me Too!

When I Get Bigger

The New Potty

Just For You

These titles have been beloved for years in print and get a new life in digital, including educational enhancements. For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is read. Tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 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 …

A Day in the Market by Adarna House, Inc.

Published in print in 2008 by May Tobias-Papa, A Day in the Market won the Philippine's National Children’s Book Award for Best Reads in 2010. As a digital app, it has light animation and some nicely tailored interactivity. There are also a couple simple games that tie into this charming narrative, exploring a traditional market in Southeast Asia. The story is told in the first person by a young Filipino girl who is excited to travel with her 'nanay' (Filipino for mommy/mummy) on Market Day. The pair rides a bus that bounces along before exploring the crowded stalls of fresh meats, fish and produce.

Beautifully illustrated pages and a lovingly crafted narrative expose young Read more …

Sassy Cassie HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

Sassy Cassie is spunky and creative and nothing is going to stop her from making her mark on the world. Her surprise artistic creation at the end of the book is exasperating, but also lovable. PicPocket Books brings quality children's picture book literature to digital media. Now, children can enjoy their favorites stories on-the-go, even when they do not have a physical book to read.

This interactive CHILDREN'S STORYBOOK app promotes EARLY LEARNING and helps your children develop READING skills by connecting the audio words and sounds with the written word on the page. PicPocket Books offer a unique and new experience, combining the beauty of quality picture books with audio Read more …

Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter! by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
Happy Valentine's Day, Little Critter! by Mercer Mayer is one of the "New Adventure" books with Little Critter, published in print in 2005. In this title, Little Critter tells readers about his class making cards, decorating and having a Valentine's Day party. The digital version of this book also adds a new twist, keeping track as the young reader tries to find 13 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 hedgehog, hamster or guinea pig." So, basically he's a rodent ... although a Read more …
Feed-’Em Fred (The Chef of Dread) interactive storybook (for iPad) by Digital Leaf Ltd.

From publisher Digital Leaf comes a tasty storybook app for the pickiest eaters. Feed 'em Fred, The Chef of Dread is about a boy named William who won't eat his veggies and fruit. He eats kid-friendly foods only, like chips and coco pops and even the occasional breaded fishstick, but nothing adventurous. His mom tries all kinds of gourmet options until the arrival of Fred.

Fred is summoned by William's mom at the recommendation of a neighbor, giving readers a fun interactive page where they dial mom's cellphone. When he arrives, he makes recipes that are beyond adventurous. Fred's specialties are things like snake marinated in sheep's blood or cockroach pizza. William turns up his Read more …


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