Yertle the Turtle - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Yertle the Turtle shows off his greed for power in this digital edition. The original print title, Yertle the Turtle and other stories contained 4 tales and was published in 1958. The tale of Yertle, the turtle king, is essentially about greed and short-sighted leadership. The 'king' of the turtles wants a higher throne, so with his total power over his turtle subjects, he commands them to sit under him. This makes his throne a bit higher, but he wants more, of course.

Yertle insists that every turtle in the pond must sit one on top of another under him until he is towering over the world. This lasts just long enough for the bottom turtle, Mack, to finally get fed up. Mack burps, 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 …

Chrissie's Shell HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

Published in print in fall of 2010, Chrissie's Shell is about a little turtle living in the forest. She admires all the other creatures and often wishes she was something else. But in the end, God reminds her that every creature on earth is special and just needs to be the best at being themselves.

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. It isn't interactive but has subtle animations throughout. These books don't leap off the page, but the storytelling is superb along with wonderful illustrations that make for an ideal picture book for kids.

This title Read more …

The Land of Me - Story Time by Made in Me Ltd.

This book app is one of the finest examples of digital storytelling to come across my tablet in a long time. It is beautifully made, created by The Land of Me. Upon opening it, readers are greeted by a scene with a serious but loving storyteller in the form of Granny Olive and three juveniles: a bear named Buddy Boo, a raccoon named Eric and a bird named Willow. This wise old tortoise will have your child as enthralled as her three charges, the minute you open this app. It is lovingly detailed, solidly built and thoughtfully tailored to its target audience of ages 2-6+.

While the stories in this app are very short (barely 2 minutes long), there is enormous replay value, since there are Read more …

Dr. Seuss Short Story Collection by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

An exceptional new app for young readers (with eight books in one) is now available from Oceanhouse Media! It includes the following digital titles:

The Big Brag, Gertrude McFuzz, I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!, King Looie Katz, The Glunk that got Thunk, Too Many Daves, The Zax and What Was I Scared Of?

In print, these short stories have been favorites of parents, teachers & young readers for several generations. Like the other titles from Oceanhouse Media, this app also has an eye on 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-it-myself' mode. These book apps also have ample 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 …

Tales from the Watering Hole – Interactive Children's Storybooks with Puzzles, Games, and Painting by Fat Red Couch, Inc.

"The Watering Hole is always good for a laugh," says Turtle to Bird, "But lately the humor has been drying up." So begins the first story in this trilogy, based on the print titles published in 2012 by the talented artist and adventurer Alex Beard. The bird, of course, is barely listening but flies off with the news that the watering hole itself is drying up, sending the Savannah creatures into a panicked version of the children's game telephone. The subtle humor and expressive animal characters make this a story that is as comical as it is instructive.

I had the pleasure of seeing Alex Beard speak (via Skype) on a panel of children's book authors last fall. His presentation was one of the Read more …

The Mud Monster by Tizio BV

Edie (a turtle), Pip (a goose) and Kay (a rabbit) are adorable animals who will charm children and adults alike in this new digital picture book by talented artist and author Chantal Bourgonje. There is a timeless quality to this tale, even though it is an original story written for the iPad. Lovers of traditional picture books will dive right into The Mud Monster's well-crafted verse for a familiar style of storytelling despite the modern medium.

The original illustrations are drenched in color (similar to Bourgonje's earlier app, Fierce Grey Mouse) in two separate versions of this book. Both versions are the same storyline but different artistic renderings of this circular Read more …

Gertrude McFuzz - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

A little bird named Gertrude longs for a more glorious tail in this digital edition of a classic Dr. Seuss book, from Oceanhouse Media. The original print title, Yertle the Turtle and other stories contained three tales and was published in 1958. This tale is essentially about jealousy, overindulgence and how we should be happy with what we have because it is "enough".

Unhappy with her single feather, Gertrude seeks assistance in the form of a 'pill-berry' vine. But she isn't satisfied with just a few pretty tail-feathers ... she now wants to be better than the other bird she envies. She goes on a binge, eating so many 'pill berries' that she grows a tail so large she cannot fly Read more …

The Big Brag - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

A rabbit and a bear are full of their own importance, bragging to each other about their superior abilities in this digital edition of a classic Dr. Seuss book, from Oceanhouse Media. The original print title, Yertle the Turtle and other stories contained three tales and was published in 1958. This tale is essentially about vanity and being overly competitive.

The rabbit claims that his hearing is so good, he can hear the tiny cough of a fly on a hill 90 miles away. Not to be outdone, the bear claims it's his nose that makes him superior to the rabbit. "I can smell twice as far as you hear," claims the bear, saying he can smell 600 miles away, where a hummingbird egg has just Read more …

The Perfect Pillow by Gregory Pugh

Colin the turtle has been having trouble at night. No matter what he tries he just can't seem to get to sleep. "Let's get you a new pillow at the store," suggests his mom in this lightly animated & interactive book app by Greg Pugh. This is a short, simple story that will engage young children, with cartoon-like illustrations and a storyline that is both familiar and fun.

There are not a lot of frills with this book but the storytelling is great. Interactivity is sparse but story-related, including lots of sound effects. The text is nicely narrated, although it doesn't highlight as read. The reading level is just right for young readers aged 6-8, with a nice sized, easy to read font. Read more …

Turtle's Day at the Beach - Interactive Storybook for Kids by Christopher Black

The Adventures of Turtle Girl: Turtle's Day at the Beach is an interactive gem of a book app for kids under five. Young readers older than five may also enjoy the chance to read this title to themselves, but it is really an ideal app for toddlers and preschool age children. It features Turtle and her friend Olive the Octopus as they spend a fun 'day at the beach' (although technically they are underwater, so it's more like a day on the ocean floor). There are twelve pages, although only about half have text, with the others containing activities for the reader to complete.

This title shines most for interactivity, in a 5-star way! It features plot-related animation, triggered with a Read more …

The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare by Beluga Limited

From Belugaboo Books, this app features a quirky twist on the familiar story about a race between the slowest and fastest creatures. The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare invites young readers to cheer along as perseverance pays off. Published in print in 2011, this fun tale is told in well-crafted rhyme by Kristyn Crow with Christina Forshay's richly drawn illustrations. The story is 'groovy', with fun dialogue that gives it a more modern feel, although it's a little bit more circa 1970, than 21st century.

The moral is intact from the traditional tale of the tortoise and the hare, along with hints of "country mouse, city mouse". A sporty hare is shown Read more …

The Adventures of Puppup: Lost at the Zoo by Fletcher Grayson

The Adventures of Puppup: Lost at the Zoo from Graymedia Productions, tells the tale of old Puppup, a puppy toy softie, reminiscing about a big adventure trip to the zoo with his girl Julia and her Dad, where he meets a wonderful bunch of friendly animals who help him out. It brings to mind elements of both Finding Nemo and Toy Story but Fletcher Grayson's story is wholly original.

The most striking thing about this interactive book is the illustrations, and I'm not really sure how to describe them. They are a really visually appealing mélange of real photographic images that have been richly textured and artistically rendered with paint strokes and other Impressionistic effects. Read more …

Mini Fish Tale by Choudhury Sarada Nanda

A Mini Fish Tale is a story about a little girl who receives two beautiful fish for her 10th birthday. One of the fish becomes ill and dies, however, making the other fish (and the girl) very sad. In this beautifully illustrated and lyrical tale, the little girl finds a way to make her fish happy again.

Young readers will enjoy this short but satisfying tale about having a pet and knowing when to set it free. The gorgeous illustrations and subtle pacing of this story make up for its lack of enhancement. There are no aninimated or interactive elements in the storybook, but none are really needed. The expressive and richly colored illustrations do more than enough storytelling without Read more …

The Birthday by Sylvia Van Ommen and Maurice van der Bij by WingedChariot Press

An adorable little mouse on a red bicycle stars in this sweet little interactive storybook for young children, from Winged Chariot. The little mouse is delivering the mail to her neighbors throughout the course of the story. She turns to the reader in one of the first scenes and asks, "Will you help me deliver the post?"

The child then gets to touch and drag the little letters to the mail boxes or directly to one of the animals on her route. The letter in her hand and the spot where the child needs to 'deliver' it are both indicated with a slight animation to let the child know what to do. After each letter is delivered, a second scene appears with new dialogue between 'Mousie' and her 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 …

Lola & Fred by Pul Edition GmbH

My rating for this digital book is likely to seem very high considering what this app doesn't have - no animation, no interactivity, no audio, and not even text. It's just a high resolution ebook based on a print title with illustrations that tell a story without words. The illustrations can be zoomed in and out with a pinch of your fingers, but that's it. Compared to my other 4 star reviews, this book doesn't take advantage of much of what an iPad can 'do'.

But wait! What this book lacks in features, it gains in being a unique title, even among print books. Picture books for young children that are filled with rich, expressive illustrations and no words at all have an important place in a Read more …

The Deep Blue Kingdom by Imaginatronics LLC

This educational app is filled with over a dozen detailed, educational descriptions of sea creatures. In a window on each page, there is a deep sea video showing the animal in its natural ocean environment. The videos play silently with background noise of scuba diving, mostly bubbles and gentle splashing. Videos can be seen in full screen mode with a quick two finger gesture, although the image is less clear in the larger view.

Each page is narrated in a crisp, clear voice. I found the narration nice enough, but it was a little too enthusiastic in a way that becomes grating on the listener over time. The book is extremely educational though, and my son and I were fascinated by the variety Read more …

Finding Nemo: My Puzzle Book by Disney Publishing Worldwide

This is a very short little book with a few puzzles interspersed in the pages. It contains a story that is a very abridged version of the movie, Finding Nemo. The illustrations are colorful and cartoon-like with minimal animation, not a replication of the computer-animated classic. The text is simple enough for a young child, although the font is a bit 'whimsical', which may challenge the youngest 'learner readers'.

There are interactive elements on several pages, namely items to tap. They then twirl briefly before leaving the screen. These items are 'gathered' for an final activity. A picture of a fish tank with outlined spaces for each of the items is at the end of the book. The child is Read more …

The Tortoise and The Hare - An Interactive Children's Book by TabTale by TabTale LTD

The Tortoise and The Hare - An Interactive Children's Book by TabTale is a short but packed version of the story of a speedy hare and a slow but determined tortoise competing in a race. It is told in rhyming verse with lots of interactive animation for little fingers to tap.

This interactivity, paired with the colorful illustrations, captures a child's attention, certainly, but it is almost too much on each page, making it difficult to follow the storyline at times. There are a dozen or more elements on every page that can be tapped to trigger a variety of simple animations, like animals that bounce or disappear into windows or their shells. There are even flowers that move with the motion Read more …

Turtle Crossing - An Animated, Interactive Storybook App by Adam Winsor

Turtle Crossing by Adam Winsor is one of those enchanting picture books you'll want to read and re-read - a true classic-in-the-making. It's charming and well-executed as a digital book, with light animation and interactivity that doesn't distract from the delightful storyline. In this title we meet Atlas, a hapless little turtle who longs to cross a busy motorway to get to the lake on the other side. On his journey he meets a duck with her ducklings and an old turtle who shares his wisdom.

Ample settings include read-to-me or read-to-myself, although no option is available for highlighting. Animations, interactivity and sound effects are at times a bit clunky but ultimately create a nearly Read more …

Boy and the Seagull by Oleksandr Ronzhyn

Boy and the Seagull is a charming story of a boy and his friend the Seagull. This app is great for children under 5 and easy for little hands to use. The story begins in a beautiful coastal town where a Seagull and his seagull friends live.

One day, the Seagull saw a small boy looking at him through a window and so it flew down to the boy. Their friendship grew stronger from that day onwards. One morning, the Seagull visited the boy and told him he was leaving for Seagull Island. Because the boy could not fly with him, the Seagull told the boy to use his mind in order to imagine the journey to the island. Through a series of fascinating encounters the small boy meets underwater friends Read more …


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