The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc.

This digital book version of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson is based on the well-crafted translation by Anthea Bell with the breath-taking and ethereal illustrations of Lisbeth Zwerger. Anderson originally wrote the tale as a ballet in 1837. This picture book version was published in 1984 to rave reviews. It follows the original tale very closely, with no happy ending. The storytelling makes up for any disappointment, though.

This digital presentation takes an otherwise gorgeous print book and brings it to life. The story is told both underwater and above on land, with pages of the former that look and feel like they are actually submerged in the sea. The effect is Read more …

The Three Little Pigs-Nosy Crow animated storybook by Nosy Crow Limited

There are lot of choices in the app store for lovers of the three little pigs, but very few stand out. This version, the first book app by Nosy Crow, is one of the very best! It is interactive in unique and fun ways that make the story feel more 'alive' than any other ebook I've read with my child. They even take advantage of the iPad's microphone, using it to pick up the sound from 'blowing' at the screen - which then triggers the wolf's classic "huff & puff" action. 

The reader gets to help the pigs build their three little houses, too. Flick each pig to get them to toss a bundle of building materials (straw, wood or bricks) at the incomplete structure until it is built. And Read more …

Brave Rooney by Bacciz,LLC

Brave Rooney is an ordinary boy in an extraordinary situation. He goes to school in Magesticville, a place where everyone is a super-hero. But Rooney lives on the border with Normalville and is decidely not super at anything. The school even has to hire a school nurse for the first time, just for Rooney. No one had ever gotten sick before he attended. But despite his struggles to fit in, Rooney turns out to have one thing the other 'super' kids do not, making him a hero of sorts for a unique kind of bravery.

Featuring cute cartoon drawings and a storyline kids will love, this book app hits just the right balance between story and enhancements. It has light animations that highlight fun Read more …

The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks 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!

Aiden and the Apple Tree by Michelle Anaya

Aiden and the Apple Tree, by Jonathan Kelly, is a story within a story, about a young boy in Jamaica who tries to steal a mango from the JuiceMan at his fruit juice stand. Instead of a scolding, young James is treated to a moral story about a boy named Aiden and an 'otaheite' apple tree. These tropical fruits are native to Malaysia and also called "Mountain Apples", but they have been exported to many parts of the Caribbean.

With a combination of slight animation, sound sprites and other light enhancement, this tale for children 6-10 has ample settings, including a page guide and flexible audio controls. The book can be set-up for narrated reading (with highlighting phrase by phrase) or Read more …

Beau Crow – The Greedy Crow by Jason Harris

This lightly animated and interactive book by Jason Harris features great illustrations and a fun, rhyming story about a crow that cannot stop eating. He misses his flock as they are flying south, growing larger and larger in size until he can scarcely move. When a hungry fox happens upon him, the greedy crow tries to change his ways ... but will it be in time?

This short, but engaging story includes some hidden settings, like a page guide & home button (double tap to reveal them); even narration is hard to figure out at first, but you simply tap on each section to hear it read. The app also includes a way to record your own narration, a nice addition. The voice-over included is lovely, Read more …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Marcelo the Fox - Brainy Fables by Next Stage, SL

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 now include reviews & re-posts from other reputable sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale.

The Snow Queen Musical Children's Interactive Storybook Adventure by Phantom 5 Music Group

This is a theatrical presentation of a much-loved fairy tale that feels like a cross between Disney and Japanese animé. It has exceptional production values, five full musical scenes and exquisitely detailed illustrations. The Snow Queen, published in 1845 by Hans Christen Andersen, is about a fight between good and evil. It features two children (a boy and a girl) named Kai & Gerda. While this story is one of the longest fairy tales in Andersen's collection, it is also considered by critics as one of the best, despite being a less familiar tale for many American readers. [See synopsis tab for the full plot.]

As a digital book, this app is well-made with ample settings Read more …

The Blue Jackal - An Interactive Tale from Panchatantra by Jain Pranay Kumar

This is a tale from the Panchatantra, which is an ancient Indian collection of animal fables. According to Wikipedia, "the original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma. It is based on older oral traditions and is the most frequently translated literary product of India. These stories are among the most widely known in the world."

In this tale, a jackal who is 'lazy and wicked', falls into a vat of blue ink and uses his unusual appearance to become king of the jungle. He intimidates the other animals, claiming he is 'God's messenger'. But one day he shows that he is just an Read more …

Hagar The Harfowl by Samuel Gimbel

Hagar is a harfowl, a creature that lives in a special Huffaloo tree. This non-linear story app begins with a description of this Seuss-like world, where harfowls try to find footing on trees that are scarce. But Hagar is having trouble finding a spot, and no one will share. Soon a storm takes all the trees down, leaving all but Hagar on the ground. He has choosen a tiny tree, merely a sprout, but he alone has a home.

Soon the other harfowls are eager to leave, unless now Hagar will share. The reader is asked to choose the story's direction at this point, either to "help the other harfowls" or "they got what they deserved" (which could be phrased better as 'don't help the other harfowls'). Read more …

Viewpoints: The Blue Jackal and the Lion by KidsAndBeyond, LLC.

A personable little blue jackal appears on the title page of this book, speaking directly to the reader. "Find out how I, a jackal, became king of the jungle, and how the lion, the old king, feels. Tap me to begin the story," he says. Told in animated scenes with a fair amount of dialogue not present in the text, this title feels very modern in its storytelling approach despite the ancient fable it is based on.

The jackal, the story explains, accidentally falls into a pot of blue dye and as a result, he is temporarily made king of the jungle by the other animals who do not realize his 'blueness' hides nothing but an ordinary jackal. The displaced king has his own story, told after the tale Read more …

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Movie Storybook & Cloudy 2 Children's Activity Book by zuuka incorporated

Flint Lockwood dreams of becoming a great scientist and in this classic storybook app he discovers a way to make food rain from the sky. An intrepid reporter named Sam Sparks arrives to cover the news event, creating the perfect storm for a recipe that ends in romance. Since the publication in 1978 of this fabulous tale, young readers have been enthralled. This movie-themed app is not animated or interactive, but does feature crisp images from the film. It provides a simple reading (or listening) experience that will reinforce the movie or prepare young children for what to expect before going to the theater.

Fans of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series, will enjoy this title Read more …

The Gift: An Interactive Storybook by Persian Cat Press Ltd

Inside a floating clamshell, a baby washes ashore at the feet of a young boy who picks her up lovingly. The story of The Gift unfolds from here, with the boy trying to wake the sleeping babe with the help of seven unusual creatures called "Oomorels". This digital book is lightly animated and full of unique interactivity that will engage readers in the story's progress.

Pages turn by tapping the right, bottom-hand corner, shown as a curled edge. Lovely and expressive narration with a British accent is available, although there is no highlighting to go along. The story's text covers up the illustrations in most scenes, but can be hidden with the tap of an arrow. This was an interruption in Read more …

Children's Bible Games & Activities for your Kids and School by Barcelona Multimedia

I'm not a follower of organized religion but I had a religious upbringing. The aspect of it I enjoyed the most was reading the Bible, so I was pleased when developer Barcelona Multimedia asked me to review Children's Bible Games & Activities for your Kids and School. One of my 'A' levels was in Biblical Studies, and I still remember writing essays on the passages in Genesis which, according to the Graf-Wellhausen source hypothesis, were from the J source (which presents an anthropomorphic view of God). Thankfully, this app is much more accessible and dare I say fun.

The app is free to download and has three modules planned for both the New and Old Testament. Only one module, Birth of Read more …

Doolie by chris ventress
<p>This is a delightful 'moral story' based on the story of the giraffe that finds his purpose. At first Doolie thinks he is of no use and 'funny looking' with his long neck. Every other animal seems to have something useful to offer, but Doolie cannot find his 'gift'. Soon a little wise bird suggests he be himself and wait to see how he can find his true purpose.</p> <p>The app is solidly made with easy arrow page turning and nice narration, although no highlighting as read. The text is somewhat problematic in this app, though. It covers up the illustrations and is very small and text-heavy for a picture book. The story is well-crafted though, and each page does have fun Read more …

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