Trucks - Byron Barton by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Published in print in the late 1980's, the delightful simplicity of Byron Barton's illustrations have now arrived in digital. This app covers all kinds of trucks, from dump-trucks and delivery trucks to garbage trucks and cement mixers. Presented in bold colors with simple lines, these charming illustrations will win over any toddler or preschooler, especially those fond of transportation books.

This title is lightly animated and interactive, allowing the curious child to drag items around the sky view, tap to hear words or tap to name objects in the scene. Settings include nice volume controls, a home button, pageguide and even recordable narration options. Like other titles from Read more …

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld is a classic bedtime story, published in print in 2011. Now, it’s a delightful children’s bedtime app. Created by Oceanhouse Media, this book app has all the same elements children love plus movement, sound effects, and some delightful surprises.

The app brings the book’s illustrations to life with small movements and sound effects, but not so much that they distract from the story.  At the beginning, you are able to choose to read for yourself or have a narrator read to you.  As the narrator reads, each word in the text is highlighted.  A touch to anything on the screen Read more …

Nighty Night Construction Trucks by Alexis Purcell

Nighty Night Construction Trucks is the 4th Book app for young children from author Alexis Purcell. Her previous book apps are: The Turkey who Forgot How to GobbleTwinkle, Twinkle Hear My Prayers and Twinkle, Twinkle Nighty Night.  Nighty Night Construction Trucks is a sweet and simple bedtime story for little truck lovers, and includes ‘read by myself’ and ‘read to me’ options, with word highlighting as it is read. Page turning is via tapping on a  arrow and a page navigation guide makes it easy to revisit favorite pages.  All external links are in a locked parents area at the end of the book and are accessed via division Read more …

Tractor Mac Arrives by PicPocket Books

This Tractor Mac book is the first in the series, originally published in print form in 2007.  This book tells the story of just how Mac came to live on the farm with Farmer Bill.  At first Sibley the work-horse thinks there is no use for him anymore, but then Tractor Mac needs help to get un-stuck.  Both realize the value of each other's contribution to the farm work and become best friends.  All of the Tractor Mac books have this wonderful message for kids ... a message that encourages them to work hard, work together and help others as way to feel good about yourself.  It's the kind of book series that teaches kids values through the time-honored method of good Read more …

Ben the Tractor and the lost sheep by ZigZag-Studio

This digital book has become a fast favorite of my preschooler. The interactivity enhances this simple story about counting. The book is about Tractor Ben. A fence has broken and the sheep have wandered off the farm. The child is asked to help Ben by tapping the sheep on each page. The sheep 'leap' into the trailer Ben is towing on page after page, until he has picked up 10 sheep in total.

At first Ben cannot see the hidden creatures, so the child's actions become central to the storytelling. There are 10 sheep and if the child doesn't tap on them all, farmer Johnny appears and says that Ben needs to go back. All the 'hidden' animals are easy to find for even a young child. On the last Read more …

Bizzy Bear Builds a House by Nosy Crow Limited

This original book from Nosy Crow is based on a series of print 'toddler' board books, first published in 2011 and featuring the adorable illustrations by Benji Davies. Children will love assisting Bizzy as he helps out on a building site in this 2nd Bizzy Bear book app - see Bizzy Bear on the Farm for the first app in this series. Interactivity and character dialogue is driven by the reader, including lots of variety and room for open-ended exploration. In order for this cute cub to complete his chores, readers will need to help him by moving building supplies, digging, hammering, and much more.

Although this app is no fairy tale, it does have Read more …

Curious George and the Firefighters by i Read With by Tribal Nova

Curious George and the Firefighters by TribalNova is a universal app for iOS which features George and the man with the yellow hat on a trip to the firehouse. In this adapted app for iOS, this animated story features three options, a “listen”, “read and talk” and then “theater”. One of the features of the app is iReadWith which is designed to help with language development and help preschoolers learn to read using a shared reading activity which encourages readers to talk and participate using a prompt which encourages questions to help better understand the story as well as demonstrate understanding of the story by being an active versus passive Read more …

Byron Barton Collection #1 by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Based on the series publsihed in print in the late 1980's, this collection of four book apps show off the delightful simplicity of Byron Barton's illustrations. Presented in bold colors with simple lines, these charming illustrations will win over any toddler, especially those fond of transportation books. All four books are lightly animated and interactive, allowing the curious child to drag items around the water scene, tap to hear words or tap to name objects, like clouds that are floating by. This set includes the following four books (click for individual reviews of each title):

Planes: http://digital-storytime.com/review.php?id=525

Read more …

Bizzy Bear on the Farm by Nosy Crow Limited

This original book from Nosy Crow is based on a series of print 'toddler' board books published in 2011 and features adorable illustrations by Benji Davies. Children will love assisting Bizzy as he helps out on the farm. Interactivity and character dialogue is driven by the reader, including lots of variety and room for open-ended exploration. In order for this cute cub to complete his chores, readers will need to help him by feeding the pigs, herding sheep, collecting eggs, picking apples and much more.

Although this app is no fairy tale, it does have many things in common with Nosy Crow's other two book apps (Cinderella & The Three Little Pigs). It is polished and solidly made, Read more …

Barnyard Mystery by Hamson Design Group Pty Ltd

Are you looking for a digital picture book that allows your child to 'choose their own adventure' with a story that is different every time you read? Or maybe one that includes your child's name, too? Well, look no further than this delightful new app that tells the story of a family visiting a farm. The family (which includes your child if you enter their name on the title page) is asked to help Farmer Bill find a cute baby chick that has gotten lost. The search takes them all over the farm, with each change in location prompting a decision by the reader.

I'm not sure how many different story combinations there are for this title, but it was a slightly different story every time I read it Read more …

Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Railway by HIT Entertainment

Now Universal App! Thomas the Train is beloved by many children, from the animated television and movie productions, to the actual toy wooden trains that populate many of the 'toy rooms' across the globe. This digital book is based on the movie, "Hero of the Rails" released in 2009. The story in the book follows the movie plot and has Thomas and his friends help Patchwork Hiro, a broken down train, rise back to his former glory as a 'master of the railway'.

The story is nicely narrated with vivid images from the movie. These scenes have nice, slightly animated touches, like steam coming out of the trains, as well as some more animated scenes of the the trains moving along the tracks and the Read more …

Angus the Irritable Bull by Watermark Limited

We all know an Angus in real life — the grumpy person everyone is afraid to upset lest they have to deal with the bull. There is a possibility that I am married to an Angus (not really, my darling husband, go back to stomping daisies while I review). It's important to remember that irritable people, who are not like my husband at all, might not even know why they are grumpy and they just need a friend who will stick by them.

Angus is a grumpy bull. The cows, the dogs and even the farmer avoid him until one day, a little bird lands on his back. Angus tries to shoo the bird, but the bird takes up residence and without giving the ending away, makes Angus' life better.

The Read more …

Mum's Cronky Car by Digital Leaf Ltd.

Mum's Cronky Car from UK developer Digital Leaf is a humorous digital book for ages 4+ which features the lamenting of a young girl who is embarrassed to have to go everywhere in the family's old broken-down car. The book is yet another title from Anita Pouroulus and it's illustrated by Jon Lycett-Smith. It's similar in style to her other works, Pancake Pandemonium and Oh, What a Tangle but lacks some of the whimsy of those efforts.

With its bumper bar held on with a bit of rope, a bent antennae and mismatching colours, the Cronky car is visually not up to scratch. It also refuses to start without a mighty push and tends to leave bits behind it as it Read more …

Have You Heard - kids interactive book app by Yoozoo Limited

Children love a garbled story ... the errors teach as much as they entertain. This book app, created with Kwiksher software, weaves a delightful story with an ending that is full of surprises. The tale begins with Farmer Blue, arriving on his tractor to talk to a little bird, Peko. He tells Peko that he needs to go to town to get three things, plus one 'surprise', although something gets lost in translation as the message travels across the farm ...

This app features simple but crisp and colorful graphics with nice narration (British accent). After meeting Farmer Blue, Peko passes the story on, resulting in a list of items so far off from the original, that the 'surprise' the farmer Read more …

Skid & the Too Tiny Tunnel HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

This is an inspirational tale from the author of Pete & Pillar, The Big Rain, featuring a little tractor named Skid. From author, Jeffry Stoddard, this is another book that is exceptionally well-crafted and based on a print title, published in 2009. In this story we meet Skid, a tractor with an inferiority complex. Skid triumphs in the end because he is the only tractor small enough to bravely go in after Pillar when she is buried in a very small tunnel.

As a digital offering, this app is lightly enhanced, from the PicPocket Books collection. It makes a fabulous bedtime read and is a top pick of my little boy for reading together. You can tap on the trucks to hear sound effects of Read more …

Pete & Pillar HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

This delightful storybook app is based on the print edition published in 2007. Pete and Pillar, two trucks, are best friends despite coming from different worlds. You see, one truck is a 'hauler', while the other a 'digger' and these two types of vehicles just don't like each other very much. But in the end the friendship between these two helps save the town from a flood and teaches everyone, including the reader, a great lesson about friendship.

This is a lightly enhanced digital offering from the PicPocket Books collection. It makes a fabulous bedtime read and is a top pick of my little boy for reading together. You can tap on the trucks to hear sound effects of hauling and digging plus Read more …

The Lettermen on the Farm by SN Squared Limited

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' visiting a farm for the day. 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 Read more …

Tractor Mac, You're A Winner HD by PicPocket Books

Tractor Mac is a charismatic red tractor with headlight eyes.  In "You're a Winner", based on the print book published by Billy Steers in 2007, Tractor Mac and Farmer Bill are getting ready for the county fair and a big tractor pull.  The illustrations and artwork are a perfect fit for this story about being a good sport when you don't win and instead 'winning' by being helpful.  In this story, the carousel breaks down, so even though Mac is disappointed when he loses the tractor pull, he gets to feel useful by using his motor to get the carousel turning again.  All the children are very happy and Mac realizes there are more ways to be a winner than just winning a Read more …

Tractor Mac Builds HD by PicPocket Books

Tractor Mac is a charismatic red tractor with headlight eyes.  He and his friend Lucy (a cute green tractor who's gender is distinguished from Mac only by her adorable little eyelashes), help with an old fashioned barn-raising in this charming book.  The illustrations and artwork are a perfect fit for this story about working together and sticking to the job, even when you don't want to.  He converses with the farm animals around him as he works hard milling wood.  They tease him for being stuck, but he sticks with it and then finds out he's been making planks for a new barn.  All the neighboring townsfolk come to help with the building and Tractor Mac realizes he's Read more …

Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Have you caught the Cars 2 movie yet? Well, my little boy was delighted to help me review the new digital book app by the same title, especially after seeing the movie. The app is a packed offering that includes a storybook, puzzles, painting pages and two small mini games. If you liked Cars 2 or plan to see it soon, this is sure to be a hit with your little Disney fan, too.

The movie plot points are highlighted throughout the book, but it could be difficult to follow if you aren't familiar with the film. For my little boy, I think seeing the book before the movie gave him a lot of fun anticipation, but he didn't fully understand the way the plot was connected until after we saw Cars 2 in Read more …

Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep - interactive rhyming story book app for kids by Well Said Limited Apps

I have spent countless hours over the past 20 years reading stories with preschoolers, first as hardbound books, and now as digital apps. Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep has all the elements I look for in a story, including non-threatening characters, simple illustrations, easy to follow action, and a positive ending. This is a new app whose first line sets the stage beautifully: “Ferdinand Fox curled up in the sun, as the church of St. Mary struck quarter past one.” It provides both parents and children an opportunity to talk about nature and being curious and how to enjoy experiences as they come our way.

Ferdinand Fox’s Big Sleep is written and Read more …

Books for Kids: Daniel and his toys by FUDEA-IIE-UFRO

Daniel and his toys is an extremely short title at only 4 pages, but it is very interactive with lots of educational features. Readers can tap on the boy to get him to put away his toys, put apples in his dump lorry (truck) and ride his tricycle (nice modeling of wearing a helmet too). The stories in this series of "Books for Kids" are all bi-lingual, too, making them great learning tools for Spanish-English language activities.

The app is solidly made with both swipe and arrow page turning, highlighting with narration and tap-to-hear for any word in the text. The reading comprehension activities that follow the story are really the best part of this app, though. Questions that check Read more …

The Cow Who Made Strawberry Milkshakes by Luis Hernández Parra

This is a fun story about a cow that makes flavored milk. Told in the first person by a child narrator, this storybook app is simple but enjoyable. When someone feeds 'Moo' chocolate one day, she makes ... chocolate milk! Soon the family is feeding her all sorts of yummy things in the hopes of having lots of delicious, flavored milk. Then one day 'Moo' stops producing anything but 'normal milk' ... that is until it is the narrator's birthday, when Moo gives ice cream!

This storybook app is not enhanced beyond narration. It has easy-to-read text and simple page turn by swiping, as well as ample settings to navigate (via a page guide). Other than that, though, this app is really basic, Read more …

Tiny Builders - Action Construction Site for Kids! by wonderkind GmbH

I love an app that can keep young curious minds engaged and entertained for hours, discovering a world that is usually out of bounds for them in real life. Tiny Builders – Digger, Crane and Dumper for Kids! brings preschoolers to the world of building and construction through such beautiful illustrations that every screen to explore is like a piece of art that has been created with lots of care and pride.

This latest seek and find interactive activity book app by wonderkind GmbH offers so many things for preschoolers to discover and do, while sharpening their observation and concentration skills. I’m truly impressed with the amount of attention given to details in an effort to Read more …