Four little corners by DADA Company Edutainment S.L.

Four Little Corners, by DADA Company, is a simple storybook app with a sophisticated message - fitting in with your peers can be as difficult as fitting a square peg through a round hole. Wow! Four Little Corners is digital masterpiece, based on the original book by Jérôme Ruillier, whose message is a timeless classic.

We LOVE this unassuming yet profound story/app; it is a delightfully darling little tale that has such a powerful message! Four Little Corners reinforces integral values such as friendship, integration, equality participation, comradeship, and social justice. The message that it is just fine to be different comes through loud and Read more …

Cool to be Clever: Edson Hendricks by Trelawny Consulting Group Ltd.

Based on the print title, published in 2011, this book app is an inspirational read for kids ages 8 and up. It is absolutely packed with top notch educational content, presented in an intuitive app that is polished and engaging. Text can be read or listened to, although the reading level is roughly for ages 8-12+. The print title retails for nearly $20, so this app is also an exceptional value. Older readers, including adults, will enjoy the history, science and inspirational messages found in this digital book. 

The structure of this app is fun to explore, with sections that include videos, music and narrated segments about topics like bulling, how the Internet was invented Read more …

Middle School Confidential 3: What’s Up with My Family? by Electric Eggplant

The third title in the Middle School Confidential series is now available for the iPad. This remarkable series is a must read for tweens & teens and a 'must download' for parents, educators and other concerned adults who want the young people in their lives to manage the typical struggles of adolescence just a little bit better. This series is really unique, offering something rare in the App Store; it's polished and well-crafted to the adult eye, but more importantly, teens will relate and enjoy the graphic novel format.

Many of my fans may not realize I am new to the world of children's literature, but if I am an expert in anything, it is actually teens. I spent the past two decades Read more …

Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind by Electric Eggplant

The next title in the Middle School Confidential series is finally available for the iPad. This remarkable series is a must read for tweens & teens and a 'must download' for parents, educators and other concerned adults who want the young people in their lives to manage the typical struggles of adolescence just a little bit better. This series is really unique, offering something rare in the App Store; it's polished and well-crafted to the adult eye, but more importantly, teens will relate and enjoy the graphic novel format.

Many of my fans may not realize I am new to the world of children's literature, but if I am an expert in anything, it is actually teens. I spent the past two Read more …

Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are by Electric Eggplant

I don't review a lot of books for older readers, but this graphic novel release of the 1st book in the Middle School Confidential series is really a stunning offering in the App Store. It isn't narrated, but even younger kids will enjoy having the stories read to them. I think many elementary age children will relate to the topics, like self-consciousness, bullying, stress, fitting in, sticky issues in friendships and learning to like yourself.

The book is developmentally perfect for tweens & teens, but the content was even appropriate for my preschooler (although some of the concepts were over his head). It is even an entertaining read & nice refresher for adults, since these Read more …

Elmer's Special Day by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Elmer's Special Day is about an elephant that has a multi-colored patchwork instead of the usual grey. This book, one in a series of print books that first began in 1989, is a delightful title that explores the sense of community that can be created by celebrating together and embracing differences. This book was published in print in 2009 and features illustrations that are drenched in rich colors.

The story follows Elmer as he prepares with the other elephants for an annual parade in the jungle. The other animals complain about the noise and mess as all the elephants decorate themselves to be more colorful (only Elmer becomes 'elephant colored' on this special day). Elmer wisely Read more …

The Butter Battle Book - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Butter Battle Book, from Oceanhouse Media, was published by Dr. Seuss in print in 1984. It was named a New York Times Notable Book, and is about the Yooks and Zooks, who do not get along because one group eats their toast butter-side up while the other group is known to eat toast only butter-side down. Overall The Butter Battle Book, is an award-winning tale that will be a treat for young readers, with digital enhancements that give it a modern feel without losing any of the charm of the print title. It also has a strong social message, similar to other Seuss books like The Lorax and Horton Hear's a Who. According to Wikipedia:

"This book was Read more …

Two Left Feet by RESIN PTY LTD

An exceptional storybook in print has arrived in digital with just a little more enhancement than your typical book app ... meet Rufus, a sweet and hardly scary monster, created by author Adam Stower in print in 2004. In the paper version of this storybook, a well-crafted and beautifully illustrated title previously published only in Australia, the story of a little monster with two 'left' feet emerges. Basically, Rufus can't dance, but "as everybody knows, monsters just love to dance" and Rufus shows off his best efforts at the "Grand Ball". In the end, a girl (isn't it always a girl that saves our hero?) arrives on the scene to provide (spoiler alert!) her two 'right' feet for a dramatic Read more …

Zanny: Born to Run by Extra Special Kids, LLC

"Zanny" was a hit in our house right away, partly because 'Zanny' is my child's nick-name. It is a relatively short book, but one that is fun and interactive. I would suggest using it with younger kids, possibly even as young as two ... the over 6 set might find it a bit boring after the first couple reads.

The story follows a very active boy, Zanny, as he runs, runs, runs, through everything he does all day, with fun interactions like tapping on Zanny to see him run off the page or playing with a ball (by either dragging or just shaking the iPad). Initially, I questioned myself about giving this 5 stars since I didn't give it five stars in any individual category. But I stand by my rating.

Read more …
Walter's Flying Bus by Chosen and Dearly Loved

Walter’s Flying Bus is a storybook app inspired by the real-life art and dream of Walter and his friends, kids from a special need orphanage in Uganda. Walter is a special kid, orphaned and burned as a young boy. Despite a hard and difficult life, he stills manages to seek adventures and live his dream.

In "Walter's Flying Bus" by Chosen and Dearly Loved, LLCWalter finds an abandoned bus and together with the hopes and dreams of his friends, and a little work, the engine soon roars to life! The children realize their dreams are not only inspirational but they have the power to carry them to what they desire most, families that will love them forever.

What Fun Educational Read more …

The Tree I See - Interactive Storybook by Aridan Books, Inc.

"Do you see the tree I see? It's short and small, just like me," begins this sweet rhyming tale by Aridan Books. It is told in the first person by a little boy who befriends a tree and learns a heart-warming lesson in the process. Somewhat reminiscent of The Giving Tree, this short picture book shows a tree that provides shelter and sustenance to many creatures. It has an expressive face and 'arms like you and me' (roots), all personified beautifully with animation.

At first it's just the boy who rests on its trunk, but soon many animal friends join the tree, who was once sad and lonely. A squirrel seeks nuts, several birds a nesting place, and more in this title that is as Read more …

The Mighty League Vol 1 - The Terrible Taunting - A Blackfish Children's Book by Customizabooks LLC

The Mighty League Vol. 1 — The Terrible Taunting is a great introduction to the way an individual with Asperger's Syndrome looks at the world. Its lesson about the need to stop bullying is so important and much-needed, and I am really glad Jonathan and Molly Murphy, with the help of their parents, used this interactive book app to raise awareness and teach great life lessons.  

The story follows JMan through an adventure at school.  As you move through the story, the words become red as they are spoken by the narrator, the real JMan.  I love this because it makes it easy for kids to follow along with the words.  There is only a limited Read more …

The Body Language of Veronica Sue by Black Dog Books, LLC

From the developer of the "Violet" series of book apps comes, Veronica Sue, a little frog who helps young children get in touch with their feelings and physical reactions to everyday events. Veronica is adorable and has a body that 'talks to herself' telling her more about how she feels. From sweating in the sun to feeling shy around new kids, this theme continues on over a dozen beautiful pages with light animation and interactivity.

This book also has lovely background music that pairs nicely with the expressive illustrations, athough it is on a rather short loop. The story itself has nice pacing that is made even better with the engaging narration (although it does not highlight as Read more …

Penelope HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

Penelope the Purple Pirate is a wonderful story for kids about a little girl who doesn't want to take a nap, so while stuck in her room, she dresses up and then imagines she is a pirate out at sea. She wears a purple sash and has friends among the sea animals. She rides on the back of the turtle to find an island and search for treasure. When she 'returns' from her adventure she is ready for her nap (tired from all her travels, perhaps?).

This book features simple narration with a tiny bit of animation, like sparkles around the treasure. The sound effects that were added in the update are really nicely spread out, with something 'hidden' on nearly every page. They are things like splashing Read more …

The Sneetches - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Many adults treasure their memories of reading Dr. Seuss, but how many remember the lessons they learned? Maybe not consciously, but on some level, everyone who reads Seuss titles with deeper messages, gets much more than entertainment. The Sneetches is just one such title like this, featuring a tale about exclusion, discrimination and possibly worse. Star-bellied Sneetches turn their noses up at the 'plain-belly' types, making some Sneetches feel 'less than' ... a situation that is ripe for intervention.

Intervention comes, in a 'music-man' sort-of way, as an entrepreneur named Sylvester McMonkey McBean arrives with a machine that can add or remove belly stars in a jiffy, confusing the Read more …

Mabel's New Home by Two Big Dads

This book is the first in a series called Mabel's Fables. It is about a little chicken named Mabel who is on her way to a new farm to live. This farm already has an established henhouse with it's own 'pecking order'. When Mabel arrives, all the other chickens take notice.

This is an anxious experience for Mabel, until she is befriended by another chicken, named Frekle. By the end of the story, Mabel has settled into her new home with Frekle's help. My son really enjoyed this sweet tale about adjusting to a new environment, dealing with bullies and making friends. The illustrations appear to be sketched by hand with colored pencils and fit the story nicely. The text feels a little large Read more …

Tacky the Penguin by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Tacky the Penguin was published in print in 1990. It is a beloved story about a penguin who is not quite like the others. Tacky is 'an odd bird' according to the story, because he dresses and acts differently than his companions. They are proper and formal, right down to their bow ties, but Tacky dresses in loud shirts (befitting his name), belly flops into the ocean and does all sorts of uncouth things. 

This non-conformism comes in handy, though, when a band of hunters comes to capture penguins to sell as pretty pets. Tacky convinces them that these aren't penguins at all, given that Tacky is so different from the animal that 'marches neatly in a row, dives gracefully and sings Read more …

Horton Hears a Who! - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Horton Hears a Who makes a great transition from print to digital, with bright beautiful pictures from the beloved Dr. Seuss. This book, recently made into a movie in 2008, is one of my favorites. I particularly like the fact that Dr. Seuss wrote this book as part of a life-long effort to remind us all, that despite differences, we should make an effort to understand each other.

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-it-myself' mode. 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 Read more …

Extraordinary Jenny Jones by Paperplane Pilots Pte Ltd

When my daughter was very little, she tried to understand her place in a world dominated by a capable, confident big sister. Repeatedly, she wondered, “What’s special about me?” Children want to know what makes them special, and when they find out, they tend to be happier and more content. Extraordinary Jenny Jones is a great story app to enjoy with a child age 3-10 who wants to discover what being unique is all about.

Extraordinary Jenny Jones by Paperplane, is designed specifically for the iPad (version 2 or later).  It has the features we have come to expect in high quality storybook apps, namely a Read to Me option with a professional narrator, interesting and Read more …

Little Lilly's Touch Book by Extra Special Kids

Little Lilly is the second book in the Extra Special Kids series, after Zanny: Born to Run. Designed to help kids with Autism & other developmental issues to see themselves in a book, this title tackles the 'sensory avoidance' of some kids who have sensory processing issues. Little Lilly loves to take her shoes off and dance barefoot, but she won't go near almost any other surface with her bare feet. Grass is prickly, carpet too squidgy and the sandbox is a place she'll never go near.

Featuring light animation and interactivity, this is a sweet but very short title. The animations are simple but cute, although most interactivity is not especially related to the story's content. Text Read more …

Rowdy Raccoon and the Turtle Who Wanted to Fly is an interactive story book for kids that brings to by Auryn, Inc

Rowdy Raccoon and the Turtle Who Wanted to Fly is based on the book of the same name by Donna C. Braymer and illustrated By Shachi Kale. It was published in print in 2009. It is beautifully illustrated and the interactive features are incredible. 

The narration options in this app are excellent. The ability to write your own text for the story particularly appealed to me. It is not one I have personally used before. The voice over capabilities we see from time to time, but the added feature of changing the text on each individual page as well is a huge bonus. It allows the parent or caregiver to adapt the storyline to suit the language capabilities of each user. However if you Read more …

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

This story is great for year-round storytelling, emphasizing the message that being different can be a good thing. It’s about a square pumpkin that is sad at first because he can’t roll like the round pumpkins in the patch. But then a storm comes and being square has its advantages. After the storm, Spookley is celebrated instead of ridiculed for his difference.

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

Henry! you're late AGAIN! by ZebraMinds, Inc.

Henry! you're late AGAIN! tells us the story of a young boy who is constantly late for school. Although it is not always his fault. As we see in the story his Dad sleeping in and his sister Isabela not being able to find her polka-dotted socks are just some of the reasons that Henry is constantly late for school.

The constant late arrivals at school have made Henry perceive the school in a some what distorted manner. He imagines the school secretary as someone who lives in the school and never leaves, but lies in wait to catch out children who are late. He can't even view the secretary as a real person who has feet and socks, but rather an overbearing figure who has a wooden desk instead of Read more …

Sarah little fairy and grandma by Sanoen Publishing s.l.

Sarah is a little girl who loves her grandmother, but when Grandma Mary comes to live with her family because of Alzheimer's Disease, she has a lot to learn. This book app demonstrates through storytelling the common issues children face when an older relative or grandparent is suffering from this type of memory loss.

Sarah listens to the explanations from her parents, but she is also helped by a magical fairy doll. Remembering that people with Alzheimer's often remember things from long ago better than recent events, Sarah becomes a hero when Grandma Mary wanders off. Sarah shows that 'knowledge is power' by suggesting the family search near grandma's childhood home, where they find her Read more …

Luca Lashes and His First Haircut by Luca Lashes LLC Apps

Luca Lashes is a sweet and simple storybook series where children's firsts are explained and celebrated. This is a good resource for toddlers & preschoolers in particular. These titles are unique in their focus on helping young kids navigate confusing and sometimes frightening first experiences. Luca Lashes is a little boy, preschool aged, with 'magic eyelashes' that help make him brave. In other books within the series, Luca goes on a plane trip, learns to swim and even goes to the dentist for the first time.

This title, Luca Lashes and His First Haircut, is about the first time Luca needs to get his hair trimmed. His mom explains what will happen when the hairdresser cuts his locks. Read more …

The Berenstain Bears Do Their Best by Oceanhouse Media

The Berenstain Bears Do Their Best by Stan & Jan Berenstain was published in print for the first time in 1992.  This version has the addition of Mike Berenstain as an author and was re-published in 2010.  Also added was an overtly religious story behind papa's ability to help build the kite for the kids to enter a kite flying contest.  I found the religious references surprising since the title didn't indicate anywhere that it was about God. Not that this is a bad thing for a book to emphasize, but why hide it from readers in the promotional info in the AppStore?

Many of the other Berenstain books with religious themes are much more explicit about their Read more …

Lucy Ladybird by Sharon Chai

Here at Digital-Storytime.com, we love book apps about "being different" and Lucy Ladybird is a title we have enjoyed for nearly a year. With light interactivity and animation, this gorgeously illustrated app tells the story of a bug who is rejected by her peers for lacking 'spots'. Feeling "sad and alone", little Lucy flies off to admire (and envy) other creatures who have 'spots'. She discovers the other animals are much more friendly and generous than her ladybird 'friends', for a surprise ending that will please readers and listeners of all ages.

This book is also available in print, from talented author and illustrator Sharon King-Chai. Created in the UK, the term "ladybird" is more Read more …

Wenda the Wacky Wiggler- Interactive Storybook by Aslan Studios Inc

Wenda the Wacky Wiggler, by Aslan Studios, is a storybook app celebrating individuality and the pursuit of sharing happiness. Narrated by writer/producer Christopher Aslan and illustrated by Emily Mullock this winning team has put together a darling story stressing the values and importance of being oneself and not letting the negativity of others interfere with who you are.

The story begins with Wenda and what she does best – dance, laugh and wiggle with joy. It appears that she is in perpetual motion. This exceptional girl, who is always upbeat and not accepted in Gloomy Town, never loses site of who she is. When the gloomy people in the town stop Read more …


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