The Very Itchy Bear by We Are Wheelbarrow PTY LTD

The Very Itchy Bear is the third picture book to follow Nick Bland's print title, The Very Cranky Bear, about four animal friends who just want to find a nice, dry place to play cards on a rainy day. In the 2nd book, The Very Hungry Bear, each animal tries to placate the angry (and hungry) bear in hopes of sharing his cave. This book takes the bear (and the reader) away from the familiar cave and animal friends. Bland's storytelling style and gorgeous illustrations are still a highlight in this title, though, published in print in the UK in 2011. In fact, I think this is my favorite app, so far in the series.

Bear is peacefully reading a book (perhaps one of Bland's earlier hits?) on a Read more …

Spatter & Spark Pro by Polk Street Press LLC

This absolutely adorable storybook app from the Polk Street Press, creators of Goodnight Safari & The 12 Days of Christmas was just released last week. It features an original story from New York Times bestselling children's book author Deborah Underwood and a whole host of interactive in-story and extra activities. Pitch-perfect enhancements and a lot of thoughtful care in development make this a seamless storytelling experience your kids will return to over and over. And there's even a way to find out just how often and how much kids are reading with an email option to get parent reports.

Spatter & Spark is definitely a 5-Star app in more than one way, especially for really Read more …

The Artist Mortimer by OC Graphics

The Artist Who Stole Bits of The World is an original storybook app with text and artwork by Bo Zaunders. It was created with OCG Studios "Develop Your Own (DYO)" book app creation tool. It is a charming story about an artist who has a unique ability to capture whatever he paints permanently on his canvas. If he paints the ocean, he carries away all the water when he takes his masterpiece home, for instance. Soon everyone insists he stop painting until Mortimer finds a unique solution that will enchant readers age 4 and up.

This app is lightly animated and interactive, with nice hints for many of the touch-points. It has ample settings to adjust the music, sound effects and narration, which Read more …

Crayola: Ruckus Reader by Ruckus Media Group

If you haven't discovered the Ruckus Reader series ... you are in for a very big treat! Even with just the free version of all EIGHT of their apps, you will get EIGHT free leveled readers for your child. And these aren't your average leveled readers ... not even close. They are simply the best source for interactive stories designed for specific reading levels on the iPad. Register now for the service and parent info for free for a limited time. Content of this quality will likely not be free indefinitely.

For this app, the Crayola series, you will get one of three possible stories for free in the app. The three stories are for levels 1, 2 & 3, which corresponds to different reading Read more …

Auryn HD - Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery by Auryn, Inc

"Where do balloons go when you let them go free? It can happen by accident," begins this whimsical book app, told in the first person by a young child who says enticingly, "It's happened to me." My little boy fell in love instantly with this story, identifying with the subject matter ... what child hasn't wondered what happens when you let go of a balloon?

With exquisite illustrations by Laura Cornell, this app is based on a print picture book authored by Jamie Lee Curtis and published in 2000. Auryn has taken this well-crafted story, and made it into a digital delight; it is filled with dozens of tappable interactive elements on every page, superb animation, and Read more …

Mr Glue Stories by Chadlington ABC Enterprises Ltd

Mr. Glue Stories presents a visual feast in app-form and is an especially unique and polished digital reading experience for kids 4 and up. It features a choose-your-own adventure style storybook, with choices for the young reader throughout each of four separate stories, all included in-app. This title is also illustrated lavishly in an edgy cartoon-style and is full of great options like recordable narration and coloring pages. You can even add personalized touches like the child's name and gender.

Mr. Glue Stories has a talented team with author Amelia Thorne and illustrator Jose Fragoso. Their kid-pleasing storybooks are worthy of an earlier era in publishing. All four would make Read more …

My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids by urbn; pockets

With My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids by urbn; pockets kids can go on a knowledge trip to space! Kids can become an astronaut and learn a great deal of informative facts with this fun, colourful and interactive app made for kids 6 to 8. Urbn; pockets are the creator of other great apps like This is my Food – Nutrition for KidsThis is my Weather – Meteorology for Kids and This is my Body – Anatomy for Kids.

Kids can suit up and learn great facts about being an astronaut, rockets, shuttles, space stations, the solar system, the universe and get involved using the many interactive points through each learning section. In the rocket Read more …

Steam Train, Dream Train by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Published in print in 2013, this delightful digital book was authored by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, creators of the critcally acclaimed Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. With light animation and educational features like touch-to-hear text, Steam Train, Dream Train captures young listeners with a lyrical tale. Immensely rereadable, this story follows a sleepy-time train filled with animals heading to dreamland. From a dashing young rabbit to snacking dinosaurs, the various scenes will amuse young and old alike.

Extra features include the ability to record your own narration as well as excellent navigation with a nice visual thumbnail 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 …

Another Monster at the End of This Book...Starring Grover & Elmo! by Sesame Workshop Apps

This is one sequel that is as fun as the original. The Monster at the End of This Book is a childhood classic, originally published in 1971. This title came out in 2000 in print, telling a similar story. This time we have not only Grover, but now Elmo too, speaking directly to the reader about 'the monster' at the end of this book. Elmo is excited to get to the end, but Grover is still wary (he's forgotten his embarassment from the earlier title, apparently).

This is a stunning title for animations and engagement of the reader in the story. The story literally won't move forward without the child tapping to destroy the barriers Grover puts up trying to prevent the turning of each page. The Read more …

Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime by ustwo

This incredibly unique app book is one of many that focuses on nursery rhymes. The team that developed this book has really gone the extra mile, though, making Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime one of the most interactive and 'touchable' apps I've ever reviewed. It's nearly impossible to keep your hands off this app, even for adults. Now with added narration & two more nursery rhymes, this digital storybook is nearly perfect.

The developers, ustwo & Atomic Antelope, have been very responsive to customer requests and suggestions and have several updates planned. They seem to have a great team that creates not only beautiful production values but also implements changes more quickly than Read more …

Moo Said Morris by Digital Leaf Ltd.

The latest offering from Digital Leaf is a winner. Moo Said Morris opens to the home screen, where users have the choice of clicking on settings or starting the story. There are two other options for “Your Sounds” and “Record,” collectively called “Mootown Records,” that are not accessible until all 14 slices of cheese are found within the story. Settings allow users to reset the app to new purchase settings, which is nice for a home with multiple children or for kiddos who love the hunt and want to find all of the cheese again. This area also contains a help section, additional apps by Digital Leaf, books from Digital Leaf and credits.

The Read more …

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by KIWA International Ltd

Hairy Maclary is a cute terrier mutt who stars in a series of popular books by New Zealand author, Lynley Dodd. This title is the first in the series, published in print in 1983. The story is told in rhyming verse and has a very simple plot, about Hairy Maclary and his doggie friends on a 'trot' around town. While the story is simple, the combination of expressive words, delightful illustrations and polished narration in this app edition, nears digital perfection.

Light animation makes the animals come to life, along with a tiny bit of interactivity in the form of sound effects, mostly barking. The enhancements are fun, but simple enough to make this a great bedtime title. The Read more …

Curious George and the Birthday Surprise by i Read With by Tribal Nova

I have to admit, I’m not always a fan of ebooks as I much prefer to hold a printed text in my hand.  There are some apps, however, that use the technology in such an engaging way that I've had to change my mind. Curious George and the Birthday Surprise is one such app. It offers interactive opportunities for both children and adults that make reading the story a different experience from reading just the printed book. 

First, you should know that this app looks and sounds just like a Curious George book. The illustrations and text are taken from the original. With a plain white background, the illustrations and text are easy to see and appreciate. On
each 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 …

My Very Own Name by I See Me! Inc.

Based on the personalized print book from I See Me! Inc., this beautifully illustrated digital app allows you to enter a name to literally create a different story for every child. The story then unfolds with letters of the alphabet spelling the child's name. The reader 'catches' the letter by tapping on it as it pops out from behind one of the images, ending with a celebration of the child's name with of all the animals.

There is also a neat extra with the storybook that has 64 different animals that pop out while trying to 'catch' the alphabet. This gives the book tremendous replay value, since a child will need to read it several times to find them all. All the animals found are placed Read more …

Finding Frankie Frog by Verlag Friedrich Oetinger GmbH

Finding Frankie Frog is an adorable storybook in digital form, featuring light animation and interactivity that enhances the story. For a free app, this is an extraordinary find! But even if it were a paid download, this book app has a lot to offer, including puzzles and a fun storyline that children will enjoy.

The story follows the hide 'n seek game of 6 friends: Billy Beaver, Pinky Pig, Elvis Elephant, Robbie Rabbit, Harry Hedgehog and Frankie Frog. In just five short pages, this delightfully interactive title has the group of friends playing a game where they try to find each other's hiding spots. As each character finds one of the friends, the person who is 'it' and everyone who has Read more …

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook by National Network of Digital Schools Corp

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully written by Michael Scotto and developed by Midlandia Press is the third iPad book app in the “Tales of Midlandia” series. Just on time for back to school, it is a fantastic book that raises the sensitive issue about bullying via a great story about friendship, fairness and sharing with stunning illustrations, top audio and great interactive features ... Another Fun Educational Top Pick!

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully is the third in the Tales of Midlandia series. It is about sweet Harvest the farmer who has a problem with Buck the banker. Buck is a mean little guy who is digging Harvest’s corn field 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 …

Wee You-Things by Wee Society LLC

Wee You-Things, by Wee Society LLC, is exactly the kind of book we need to read to our children to help instill 21st century character traits of acceptance. This HAPPY interactive book encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the differences in people. We were so delighted when we came across this app, every element in this simple read is stunning and the message so poignant! This company has a darling line of toys and prints to adorn your tots room with. We believe in happy design. We’re especially drawn to the impact and beauty of simple, modern graphic shapes and bold colors. We imagine these pieces would be equally happy in spaces for kids or adults. After a bit of Read more …

Wince - Don't Feed The WorryBug (Full Version) by iMagine machine LLC

This book app, reviewed in print with 5-stars by Amazon.com customers, is a delightful way to introduce complex concepts to children about complex emotions like anxiety and obsessive worrying. As a digital app it provides a unique experience, with light enhancements that are nicely tailored to the narrative.~ Carisa

iMagine Machine is delighted to announce its first book app created in collaboration with , Wince-Don’t Feed the WorryBug. Written and illustrated by Andi Green, WorryWoos is a series of books and toys created especially to promote emotional wellness in children.  Winning awards, accolades and praise, Worry Woos have found their way into the hearts of parents and 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 …

Put Me In The Story – Personalized Books by Sourcebooks

Sourcebooks is a successful independent and woman-owned publishing house founded in 1987 by Dominique Raccah. They have made forays into many genres, including children's picture books in print and now, in digital. This app contains one free story, The Night Night Book, that is a nice example of the personalizable features offered for their collection of stories, available for in-app purchase.

The stories are (so far) all based on popular print titles and include very light animation and interactivity, along with the special touch of adding a child's name into the text of the book. The child's picture is also included on the second page, like a traditional bookplate, along with their name Read more …

Fancy Nancy Dress Up by Bean Creative

Do you know a little girl who would like to play dress up with Fancy Nancy? Based on the 2005 Jane O'Connor title that held the top spot on the New York Times Bestseller list for almost 100 weeks, this app is an exceptional offering for creative play. A very short story about a party little Nancy is attending is included, but the real highlight is the free-form dress-up playtime this app provides.

The app has a very nice set of directions under "How to Play". This explains that there are five slots to save images to, within the app. Each of these pictures can be created with lots of choices including different backgrounds, stamps of items to place around the scene and lots of dress-up Read more …

Tangled: Storybook Deluxe by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Disney brings their film adaptation of the Rapunzel story to life in this digital book, pairing animated clips from the feature film alongside a nicely abridged version of the movie's plot. For lovers of princess stories, this app is a real treat that includes much more than a book, providing lots of entertainment for young readers in the form of games, puzzles and coloring pages based on the Tangled movie.

My child loves this Disney film, so he was delighted to see a few animated scenes from the movie interspersed throughout the book. This is one of the ways this storybook stands out from many of the other movie-themed book apps available. This title also has a nice choice of Read more …

Sid Surfa Saurus Surfing Dinosaur by KIWA International Ltd

Do you know the names of lots of dinosaurs? Well ... "there might be some that you just don't know about yet," according to this fun book app about Sid, the surfing dinosaur. Haven't heard of Sid? Well, you're in for a treat! Based on a 2003 out-of-print title, Sid and his friend Dally discover the joy of riding the waves one day, using wooden planks to balance on. Then an ice-age comes so quickly that the pair are frozen mid-surf in different parts of the ocean.

The two are inexplicably unharmed by eons of time on ice, because when things get warmer, they find themselves back on the waves near a modern beach. "Everything looks different now, but the waves are still the same and it sure is 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 …

Auracle HD – Miko "Where is Mimiki" by Auryn, Inc

The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have 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 can't find his 'lovey' Mimiko, a little mouse-doll that he always has as a companion in the series.

After searching high and low, Miko and his mom still cannot find Mimiki. Any parent of small children knows the panic that sets in after an exhaustive search for a special toy. My child seemed near tears himself, listening to the page about Miko having to go Read more …

Auracle – Miko "Double Birthday!" – HD by Auryn, Inc

The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have 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, it's Miko's birthday and also that of his doll ... a double birthday.

Miko is so excited for his big day, but he worries that Mimiki, his doll, won't get any presents. At first Miko is distracted by all the new toys, forgetting about Mimiki, but in the end, he finds lots of creative ways to incorporate the little doll into his play. A dated reference to a cassette Read more …

Auracle HD - Miko "Wants a Dog" 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 is desperate to have a dog. "Mom, can I pleeeeease have a real dog?" begs the little mouse, hoping his mother will change her mind. When his mother reminds Miko that since no one is home at their house during the day, a dog would get much too lonely.

Luckily, just as little Miko is wallowing in his doglessness, he hears the sounds of a real dog nearby. Across the fence, he 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 "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 – 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 – 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 …

Starring You Books by StoryBots – Read Personalized Storybooks and Children’s Books by JibJab Media Inc.

JibJab is a digital entertainment company famous for commercials and a line of personalizable e-cards. Their new app, JibJab Jr. Books, is an iPad app that is free with one full book called, "The Biggest Pizza Ever". This app doesn't have any interactivity or even sound in their app currently but despite its simplicity this is the most enjoyable personalized book series I've seen so far for the iPad.

The app has a simple and intuitive interface that will have you uploading a picture of your child in minutes to create a fun little book that even inserts your child's name into the story. In the free book included, the child is shown creating a giant pizza pie. I have downloaded all the books 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 …

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 …

Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Many parents remember last summer as one that belonged to Toy Story 3. Well, this summer is definitely in the grips of Cars 2 at our house, so this app was an instant hit with my little boy. Told with narration that mimics an announcer at the racetrack, Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race is a storybook with an extra children won't soon forget - a racing game bundled into the app.

The storybook covers the plot twists involving the races in Tokyo, Italy and England (plus the trip back to Radiator Springs) and less about the spy mystery (which is the emphasis of the other Cars 2 book app, reviewed earlier this summer). After this trip through the movie's major plot points, Read more …

Goodnight Moon by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

In the Great Green Room, there was a little boy and a red balloon has lulled millions of children to sleep since it was introduced 65 years ago. Goodnight Moon, a classic story for children of all ages, has been adapted to an app by Loud Crow and features interactive elements that bring the storybook to life in the great green room. Children can touch, swipe or title the screen to help the fire crackle, cow jumping over the moon, the old lady whispering hush, fading lights and more. The app features a “read it to me”, autoplay and a read it to myself option. The optional piano music can be turned on and off as you wish within the story.

Our family loved this digital rendition of Read more …

Little Otter Goes Fishing by SINGAPORE NATIONAL CO-OPERATIVE FEDERATION LTD

A wonderful tale is woven in this digital book from the SEED institute, part of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation's attempt to produce quality digital children's literature for a global audience. In this storybook, Little Otter is eager to learn to fish. He seeks the help of Big Otter and soon has learned all the important skills he needs, like how to hold his breath and dive. Soon Little Otter has a handful of fish to eat and is very proud of himself. When Baby Otter joins them, saying, "Wow, can you show me how to fish?" Little Otter is happy to be the teacher now, passing on his new wisdom.

A series of six nice discussion questions follow the story, which is lightly animated Read more …

I Am An Astronaut by Tizio BV

From Tizio Publishing, this personalizable title allows you to take a picture of your child (or use a photo) to show them as an astronaut inside the book's pages. It is short but sweet, featuring light interactivity and animation. Among the fun things to tap on this title's eleven pages is a cool 'control panel' for a rocket ship. It could even be the digital replacement for that old-school toy, the toddler 'busy box' (a toy with lots of buttons & levers).

Seeing your child's picture in several scenes (or their name, which appears on a flag), is really fun; kids reading or listening will be especially engaged as they anticipate seeing themselves in each scene. You can enter a child's Read more …

Auryn HD – I, Trixie, who is dog by Auryn, Inc

"Bliss to you. Bliss to you! Is me, who is dog. Trixie Koontz, happy dog," begins this tale told by one tail-waggingly happy canine. In between writing chilling thrillers for adult readers, author Dean Koontz has been busy over the past decade loving one very special dog named Trixie, who is the inspiration for this delightful digital title. I find this softer side of Koontz very appealing, producing a series of lovely children's titles in print. Trixie, a beautiful Labrador, tells this story in the first-person (or first-dog to be precise).

"Dog is the best of the best things to be," Trixie tells the reader, explaining all the wonderful aspects of her doggie life. She has a friend Read more …

Auracle – The Trees Grin Beside Me by Auryn, Inc

This is a poem-like story with light interactivity and unique personalization settings. It is told in the first person by a little girl who is exploring a forest. Images depict each of the seasons while the little girl compares her own body to the trees around her, seeing the connectedness of nature.

This book was published first in print in 2010 and features rhyming text by Michelle Macdonald. The trees are depicted with expressive faces that will appeal to kids in the richly colored illustrations by Leah Davis. Users can edit the text of the book to change it or rewrite the story in its entirety, as well as record their own narration. Each page can also be tapped to see Read more …

Auracle HD – Winter Is by Auryn, Inc

Cute storybook about the excitement of a chilly Northwest winter by Puget Sound native and Alaska resident, Ann Dixon. Wonderful educational enhancements are the main perk of Auryn Apps digital re-imagining of this 2002 print title. Words highlight as narrated word-for-word & interactivity is strictly informational. Tap any word in the text to hear the audio again or tap any image to hear and see the word. Color-drenched illustrations & nice page-layouts in this digital title make for one very nice seasonal read.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter holidays, 2011.

Simone and the night's monsters by Simiula

Simone and the night's monsters is a unique ebook app about a little boy who bravely battles a crazy assortment of 'monsters' that inhabit his room after dark. His mom checks on him because of all the noise, but every time she opens the door, the scary creatures disappear. Instead of believing Simone's stories, she says, "Simone, stop making such a racket! Go back to bed right now."

After a nearly sleepless night where Simone triumphs over a green blob monster, giant spider, vampire, skeletons and a witch, he wakes up to a very messy room and very unhappy mom. He trudges off to school, sleepily. Meanwhile his mother is shown in the last scene scolding the group of monsters and making them Read more …

Auracle - Hurray for Pre-K! by Auryn, Inc

Hurray for Pre-K! is not a traditional storybook, but instead a delightful mix of photographs and text. Based on the print book published in 2000, by Ellen B. Senisi, this is a popular title for preparing youngsters for preschool. A diverse classroom of children (from New York State) is pictured, showing all the rituals that are reinforced for young students during their first school experience. The book is repetitive and a bit dry, but perfect for the age group it is designed to reach.

Getting ready for school is an important activity for young children and this book could provide them with a unique way to prepare in advance. The book can even be personalized significantly. Not only Read more …

Lemon Tree - Interactive Books For Children by THE LEMON TREE BOOK CO LTD

Poor Momma Monster. She has her hands full with six monster children who have the worst manners in the entire monster town. Thankfully, your young elementary student is here to save the day and help each of them learn a thing or two inside this sweet app. And each monster has some early literacy skills to teach your manner master in the meantime. (Say that ten times fast. I dare you.)

The app opens up to the main screen, where your app user can either enter the parent section (which is well protected by math problems so difficult I missed the first answer and had to use my fingers on the second), or straight into the app itself. A short video self-plays introducing mother monster's Read more …

F:sh by Brandwidth Marketing Ltd

This unique new digital book app is an undersea adventure. Three friends explore the ocean, a deep sea cavern and even help a stranded submarine along the way. This book app is also fun because it moves through pages that go forward and then down and back up when the trio explore the sea cave, challenging our notion of a strictly linear storyline.

Plip, Shella & Jelly are the main characters that get together one day to explore the seabed. They discover a hole and explore its darkness until one of the fish has an epiphany triggered by a sneeze. The storyline is fun although their 'adventures' were a bit anti-climatic since all they do is go down into the sea hole and then return home Read more …

The Gobberwobbly by Ice Cream Publishing L.L.C.

This book opens with delicate classical music and a mysterious door opening ... to the words, "A Gobberwobbly lives in this house." This mysterious creature is at the heart of why socks go missing or get holes in them, according to the story. The Gobberwobbly is a lyrical tale accompanied by beautiful harp music and lush illustrations.

A Gobberwobbly is a creature that lives in every house, eating those missing socks we all wonder about. But the creature can be tamed into a loving pet who grows up and eventually has to leave home, becoming "moody and meditative" in the process (like a real teenager). On about every other page there are interactive elements, like lights that turn Read more …

Trick or Treat: Picture Me® by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

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!

Cuddly as a Bunny - Picture Me® by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Cuddly as a Bunny - Picture Me is a short, sweet book app that features a story that your child can star in ... insert a picture from your photo album or take one with your device's camera. My child, now in Kindergarten, likes reading the 'PictureMe' series with both current photos and ones taken when he was a baby. You can even email the pages with personalization ... something we do all the time for grandma and my child's godmother.

Eash title is deligtful, featuring over 12 pages of a cute story that features your child on every other page. Check out "PictureMe" Cute as can Bee and the other holiday versions of this app - truly delightful! Young children will appreciate the simple Read more …

Auracle – Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty by Auryn, Inc

Duncan is a dog with a purpose, visiting patients in the hospital to help them feel better. And he's part of a diverse family where everyone has important work they love to do. Based on the fun print title published in 2007, this app features lots of great enhancements, including the ability to fully personalize the story and record your own narration.

The app features charming illustrations with lots of detail. The story is told in pictures as much as words, making it an ideal title for children to re-write as a way to build their own storytelling skills. This book is also lightly interactive, featuring images that name themselves when tapped. For instance, tap on Duncan to see & hear Read more …

I'm Going To Be A Pirate by Two Big Dads Ltd

I'm Going to be a Pirate! is an original storybook about two sisters. Little Lily describes in detail her plans for a pirate adventure ... but her big sister Amanda is not impressed. Amanda says things like, "You can't be a pirate, you get seasick," trying to ruin her little sister's fun. The ever-exuberant Lily responds to each of Amanda's complaints with irrepressible optimism & creativity.

For instance, when Amanda says Lily can't be a pirate because she doesn't like to eat fish, Lily adds that she'll just bring their mom along to make sandwiches. Page by page, the two girls weave a detailed world of pirate pretend play. And in the end Amanda stops complaining, asking if she can be a Read more …

Coastal Quest by Hamson Design Group Pty Ltd

Ready to explore? Head to the beach in this fun title for readers 4-8. Like Barnyard Mystery, this 2nd app from Hamson Design Group has a structure that allows your child to 'choose their own adventure' with a picture book that is slightly different each time it is read. Told in rhyming verse, the app also inserts the child's name into the story, personalizing this tale about exploring the seaside.

The app is also lightly animated and interactive, with lots of things to tap. Most of the enhancements are not particularly tied to the storyline, but they are certainly fun. While this is a nice title and solidly built overall, it really needs the addition of a page guide and/or home Read more …

Your Child Saves Christmas by Penwizard Ltd

Your Child Saves Christmas by Penwizard Ltd is an iPad only app designed for iOS.  The storybook takes what was formerly a print book and turns it into an interactive experience with your child.  When opening the story, you first create a character.  This character can be personalized with a name, glasses or not, pajama color, gender, hair style, hair color and skin color.  When you go back into the app you can either choose to use the same character again or create another which makes it great for multiple children to use.  The app does use the  UK spelling for several items including pyjama and Santa Clause within the app.  In the story the Read more …

Around The World - Personalized Children's Book by Shira Karp

This is a unique title that allows you to personalize the story. After uploading your child's photo (placing their face on the shoulders of a drawing of a boy or girl), you can then read a story that has your child floating above the world on a magic kite ride. The adventure includes some of the world's most famous sites, like the Great Wall and Eiffel Tower. It is truly a book that kids will become attached to, requesting it over and over just to see themselves featured on every page.

Around the World is interactive and lightly animated. The interactions are fun, although they are mostly objects that bounce or move in fun ways, not necessarily plot driven. The diverse children that you Read more …

Sock n Boots by DAMON SMITH

Sock n Boots is an app with a collection of three stories about basic skills young children need to learn, including sharing, playing safe and getting over a fear of the dark. While the stories themselves are quite simple with little enhancement, they do stand out for being educational. This title also features unique personalization settings and computer graphics that will appeal to children.

The interactive elements allow images to be tapped to hear the name and spelling of the object pictured. Some images also respond with additional information about the scene, like "the birds are sleeping" for an image of a sleeping bird in her nest. In addition, the app has nice highlighting to go Read more …

Picture Me Christmas Cutie by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Picture Me Christmas Cutie is a short, sweet book app that features a story that your child can star in ... insert a picture from your photo album or take one with the iPhone or iPad2 camera. Then over 12 pages, find a cute story that features your child on every other page. Young children will appreciate the simple graphics of babies in animal costumes and delight in seeing their own face. Text is narrated with word-by-word highlighting in an easy-to-read font with simple sentences perfect for learner readers. Light animation and interactivity round out this lovely little app.

This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter Read more …

Auracle - Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose - HD by Auryn, Inc

"Tail, Toes, Eyes, Ears, Nose," repeats this app that is less of a storybook and more of an educational app based on a print title. Animals from an elephant to a bird (and even a human) are shown with just their body parts. After naming each part, readers can see the whole animal emerge.

This app is based on an out-of-print book published in 1992 and is great for toddlers & preschoolers. The reinforcement of all the body parts is 'spot on' for this age group's developmental needs. It also does a great job engaging the very short attention span of children under 5, although this also means this app is a bit light on content, lasting barely 3 minutes on autoplay.

As a print title, this Read more …

Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

This Disney Princesses sticker book has been a chart topper, and now it actually deserves a download. Very nice update! It's still not a traditional storybook, but it now has at least a short story for each princess and you can dress her up from head to toe (they added shoes!). Now your child can also see the princess in all her accessories and take her picture fully dressed. They even added another princess, Tiana. These changes should make a lot of little princesses (and their parents) very happy!

This little app in the 'books' category is really more of an 'entertainment' title - like digital paper dolls in sticker-book form. It features the very popular Disney Princesses, six in all Read more …

Photo Tales - Create Photo Stories with Your Kids by tho pham

PhotoTales by Tho Pham is an app for iOS which allows your family to customize a story with your photos and images based on the text provided.  For the purposes of this review, I looked at “A Happy Day in the Zoo” which I customized to be about a recent family trip to the zoo using included images and my own personal photos to make the story more interesting and help to engage my son.  The first time we created the story, my son and I did it together using photos from my iPhone as well as those I stored on our Bevy to pull into the book.  We completed it together and then saved it off to our computer.  The second time I did the same book, I was Read more …

Kids and Home by RedactiePartnersMediaGroep

This ebook app is packed with over 20 pages of photos of home types and landmarks the world over. A nicely narrated segment of text is presented on each page that briefly describes the image. There is also a little 'lightbulb' icon in the upper right hand corner that you can tap on to see more detailed facts & trivia about the photo. A small interactive/animated feature is also on each page that can be tapped to trigger an audio clip and fun little scene. For instance in the photo of London, a little cartoon of a double decker bus travels across the bridge in front of Big Ben.

There are a lot of settings and extras bundled in with the story pages, including a building page with Read more …

Auracle - Love You to the Moon & Back by Auryn, Inc

This inspirational little book is filled with warm illustrations that evoke a simpler time along with lyrical text that reads like a poem or love letter. The book is very short but can be personalized with your own text and narration. It also features lovely narration that highlights as read and simple, but intuitive settings.

The book is not animated but does have a little interactivity. If you tap on many of the images, a word briefly appears to represent that image along with audio voice-over. This solidly made book also has easy-to-read text suitable for young readers, along with swipe-style page turning.

Personalization settings allow the user to enter their own text & narration Read more …

Halloween eBook by Paul Harrington

A simple but very unique little book with narration and the ability to personalize each page with a photo of your child. Designed by a mom for her autistic son to “help teach children to identify, label, and categorize words, by commenting on the text and pictures.

The question ‘Where?’ is used repeatedly throughout the book to help children learn location concepts such as- ‘in front of’, ‘behind’, & ‘next to.’” Tap text to trigger narration. This is a FREE app that has lots of potential. 

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

Ug: A Prehistoric Adventure by Ice Cream Publishing L.L.C.

Ug: A Prehistoric Adventure is a story about a cave boy who leaves his family only to realize that his true home is with his own people. Over nearly 50 pages, the story unfolds, featuring evocative hand-drawn pictures of Ug's adventure. The title has a few interactive elements and also pans across the illustrations in a nice semi-animated style. It is also accompanied by great music with lots of ambient forest & animal sounds.

This app has easy swipe-style page turning and a nice electronic bookplate that lets the reader handwrite their name on the first page of the story. The illustrations are also delightful, with fun spear points in place of page arrows (with 'swipe to continue' Read more …


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