Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Fifty years ago this month, Dr. Seuss published this popular bedtime story, now available in a beautiful digital presentation from Oceanhouse Media. Starting with a very small bug (named Van Vleck) to the Zizzer-Zoof Seed salesmen, children will be enthralled by the detailed and imaginative illustrations in this book. Screen after colorful screen shows sleepers of every shape and size, adding up a "Who's-Asleep-Score" that needs just one more (the reader).

Many adults treasure a favorite title from Seuss' prolific collection of picture books, written in the latter half of the 20th century. After reviewing dozens of these classics in app form, I am delighted to finally review the Seuss I Read more …

Nighty Night! HD - The bedtime story app for children by Fox and Sheep GmbH

Nighty Night! begins with, "Night falls. The moon is high. All the people are ready to sleep as they turn off the lights. But wait! Look at the farmhouse. There are still some lights on. The animals are sleepy, too. Do you want to turn off the lights?" A peaceful farm appears, where you can tap on any one of seven lit areas on the page. The next scene shows an animal still awake (with a light switch nearby). Tap the switch (each light & switch is different) and the animal settles into sleep, closing their eyes.

After all the animals have been put to bed, there is just one person still up - a little boy (and the reader). The last scene is of this little boy waving out his lit Read more …

The Going to Bed Book - Sandra Boynton by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

The Going to Bed Book is a perfect bedtime read created by Loud Crow, the same developer that made PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit. While it is interactive with subtle 'pop-up' style animations, it is short and accompanied by relaxing piano music that is ideal for settling down at nighttime. The print book, published in 1982, is also a chart topper with hundreds of 5-Star reviews at Amazon.com.

The book has a similar style to the Peter Rabbit ebook with lots of touchable elements that bounce slightly like a true pop-up book. There are also delightful touches, like water faucets that turn on and off, bubbles that float across the page to be popped with a tap, and even a foam that covers the Read more …

Mr. Sandman by hocusbookus

Not many books get five star reviews on this site, let alone five stars in four or more of our nine categories, but this standout title from Hocus Books does this and so much more! Featuring a charming story alongside beautifully crafted animation and unique interactive elements, Mr. Sandman is our favorite book app (so far) for 2013.

The story begins with a young boy and his mother at bedtime. The child says he is afraid of the dark. "Don't worry my darling, I will wind up your music box and leave your light on. The Sandman will be here soon." Tap the music box to hear a 'winding' sound effect and then a lovely tune that launches a touching tale that is told as much in text as Read more …

The Very Cranky Bear by We Are Wheelbarrow PTY LTD

"In the Jingle Jangle Jungle on a cold and rainy day, four little friends found a perfect place to play," begins this delightful animated tale. Based on Nick Bland's 2008 print title about a zebra, moose, lion and sheep who just want to find a nice, dry place to play cards on a rainy day.

Each animal tries to placate the angry bear in hopes of sharing his cave. But they assume the bear would want what they want (a beautiful mane like the lion, great antlers like the moose or stripes like the zebra). In the end, it is the humble sheep who has the most brilliant idea and generous sacrifice to make, on behalf of the bear's true comfort.

Light interactivity and perfectly timed animated elements Read more …

Teddy's Night by Auryn Inc.

Teddy's Night was an instant hit in our house, just as we loved "Teddy's Day".  The interactivity & animation is also well-integrated into the storyline and varied enough to entertain a child for a very long time.  There are so many totally original things to discover in this book, like blocks that you can knock over, a tub you can fill (touch and hold on the faucet), pop-able bubbles you can create by tapping a soap bottle, lights that turn on (or off) and even a memory game in the bathtubs tiles!  There's also a great potty scene with teddy on his own little potty chair next to the little girl.  Tap on either the girl or teddy for some authentic sounding bodily Read more …

Gone Wishing - Interactive Storybook by FI Produkcija D.O.O.

This is an exceptional new book app featuring an original story about a company, called Best Wishes, that lies below our world, taking the discarded wishing-well coins, birthday candles (and other 'wishing' objects like wishbones) to make the dreams attached to each object come true. These pleas are answered in an alternate universe where mythical characters (like fairies & genies) use potions and incantations to work magic - filling wishes for toys, ponies and even cotton candy.

The starring character, Jacob, is a little genie with a big problem. Unlike all the other employees of Best Wishes, Jacob can't seem to grant a single wish. Special effects and polished animation make Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Oceanhouse Media

This is a perfect digital version of "Five Little Monkeys" a beloved tale by legions of kids and their parents. It is an adorably illustrated classic from the print version by Eileen Christelow. This book series consistently gets 5 stars from Amazon.com reviews and includes games, audio books, board books and every spin-off product you can imagine. As an ebook app for young children, this one has a well-deserved place at the top of the charts.

The 5 little monkeys go through their nighttime routine, including jumping on the bed until ... they fall off the bed and bump their heads. I'm sure you saw that coming. But mama didn't! So she calls the doctor and in his wisdom and authority he say, Read more …

Who Stole The Moon? - Interactive e-book for children by Windy Press International Publishing House, LLC

Bertie is a little boy who loves staring at the moon and stars through a large window in the ceiling of his bedroom ... until one day the moon goes missing. In this enchanting and beautifully illustrated storybook app, readers will find out how Bertie solves this mystery, with the help of some nocturnal friends. Based on a 2010 print title, this app features over a dozen options for translation, perfect for foreign language learners. Who Stole the Moon? is also a 'must-download' title for lovers of bedtime book apps in particular.

Ingenious interactive elements include story-related gems as well as lots of unique features, like pages that scroll up and down, alongside more linear arrow page Read more …

Red In Bed by daniel logeman

Created by Josh On, Red in Bed is a lyrical and simple picture book app with the perfect amount of interactivity and animation, lightly added to every page. Designed with the touch tablet in mind, this app (available for iOS and Google-Play) takes a very simple story about the colors all in bed one morning. Only red is feeling sick. The other colors try to help out by coloring strawberries, tomatoes and other red items like a Stop sign, but there really is no substitute for red.

Children will be drawn into the intuitive interface, easily figuring out that you can tap each color/colour ball to hear a different sound, like a piano keyboard. Tapping on the grey items on subsequent pages will Read more …

Midnight Feast by Dan Hare

Midnight Feast is another exquisite tale from the creators of The Artifacts. Complex and hauntingly beautiful, the story follows the night-time imagination of a young teen who longs to stay up past her bedtime for what she pictures is a vast banquet. Gorgeous illustrations and beautifully paced interactive dialog create an immersive reading experience for readers ages nine and up. Polished production values, thoughtful settings and the inclusion of close reading notes round out this stellar new title.

Tapping is not so much for exploring randomly in this app but an extension of the reading experience. Your fingers absorb part of the story by unlocking it, deepening your understanding of the Read more …

The Artifacts by Dan Hare

"Once there was a boy who loved to collect," begins this unique digital book. Asaf is an enigma to his family, amassing so many objects that it borders on hoarding. When the family prepares to move to a new house, his parents get rid of everything Asaf has collected, everything he loves. This begins a new chapter for the young man, one of collecting dreams, ideas and knowledge.

When the family arrives in their new home, Asaf's mother & father tell him, "This is your new bedroom. Keep it tidy." This act of parental misunderstanding and betrayal is experienced by Asaf in scenes that perfectly convey the darkness and rebellion of adolescence ... with handwritten words appearing Read more …

Look Out Larry! by Wasabi Productions Pty Ltd

Larry the lazy lizard is back in this cute sequel. In this title, the reader gets to help Larry out (instead of bugging him) by poking Larry to warn him about several hazards. You can wake Larry up from his nap so he can escape from a spider, snake, eagle and many other dangers. Then, as a bonus treat, a second series of pages show Larry 'dreaming' of being able to vanquish his predators. For instance, in his dream he doesn't run away from the spider. Instead, he becomes a fire-breathing dragon and scares the spider away. This extra story is adorable and the entire book is one of my little boy's favorite apps.

It's been nearly a year since the first book in this series was published. At the Read more …

Loose Strands: Unlockable Edition by Darned Sock Productions Inc

Loose Strands, by DarnedSocks Productions, is a choose-your-own-adventure style story app with dozens of different possible adventures. This imaginative tale is about a boy who is trapped in world where he can never go outside and everything (and I do mean everything) is made of hair from the family's barber shop. Tween readers can be picky about what they want to read and difficult to motivate, so you can try out this app for free (for iPad), with a sample chapter. The rest of the book can be unlocked to the full storybook by an in-app purchase, which is very worthwhile for a title that has nearly 2000 pages. The full storybook app is also available separately as a paid app for iOS, Kindle Read more …

The Wrong Side of the Bed by See Here Studios

The Wrong Side of the Bed is a wonderful, original and beautifully illustrated ebook that is delightful in both 2D & 3D. The book is about a little boy who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. And I mean the REALLY wrong side of the bed as in under the bed, and then he walks on the ceiling. The book continues in this manner with Mott riding on the ceiling of the school bus and then flying into space before returning to earth at the end of the day. It ends with the little boy being very careful to get up on the right side of the bed the next morning.

When this book recently made our top 10 bedtime book list, I re-read it with my son and we discovered that the developer had added Read more …

What a Bad Dream - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

What a Bad Dream by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1992. It tells the story of Little Critter and a dream he has where a magic potion turns him into a monster that no one wants to be around! The touching ending is one little (human) critters will readily identify with and one that will (hopefully) bring sweet dreams. The digital version of this story also adds a new twist, keeping track as the reader tries to find all the little grasshoppers and spiders (20 of each) hidden on every page.

Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal is Little Critter?" According to Wikipedia, Mercer Mayer did not specify which type of animal the Little Critter is, but, "he resembles Read more …

Just Go to Bed - Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Just Go To Bed by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1983. It is a beloved story about Little Critter as he challenges his very patient father with lots of bedtime procratination. From pretending he general at war to a cute little bunny, Little Critter just doesn't want his day to end. But his parents are persistent in this adorable classic from Mercer Mayer.

Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal is Little Critter?" According to Wikipedia, Mercer Mayer did not specify which type of animal Little Critter is, but "he resembles a hedgehog, hamster or guinea pig." So, basically he's a rodent ... although a rather lovable one! Over 200 books have been Read more …

Moon Man Dan: Story & Night Light by Pickled Pepper Productions Ltd.

"It's time for bed ... sleepy head," begins this highly interactive and animated storybook app for children six and under from new developer Pickled Pepper Productions. Moon Man Dan and the Telescope will have young readers and listeners deeply engaged as the narrator takes them on a journey into outer space. Dan is in charge of the moon's light, shining so bright in our own night sky. He has help from "The Nooms" (fuzzy little blue aliens named Noomni, Noomnoo & Noomnar) and three cows, called "Moon Moos".

One night, a telescope falls to the moon, leaving Dan and his crew to devise a way to get it back into the sky. Using cows and a reader-assisted creation (a teeter-totter), they Read more …

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

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

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

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 …

Rom and the whale of dreams by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd.

Rom and the Whale of Dreams, by BelMontis, is a magical dreamy tale written by Jose Miguel Vilar-Bou and illustrated by Alejaandra Zuniga that takes place in the enchanting Kingdom of Gypsies called Numia. This is where imagination is the ruler and dreaming is a thing of the past. For the people of Numia have forgotten how to dream and must suffice with only their daydreams. The young Prince Rom has a recurring dream about a whale creature and he decides to go off looking for this mysterious animal. This wonderful fairy-like tale is available in three different languages, English, Chinese and Spanish.

What child doesn’t love a great story? Great stories never grow old! Read more …

Peterkin Meets A Star HD by Take 2 Ventures LLC

I am re-reviewing this truly wonderful little book now that the developer, PicPocket Books, has updated it with high-resolution images worthy of the iPad. It is such a delight to see this story's crisp watercolor illustrations!

Peterkin Meets a Star was published in print in 1985 by Random House Books for Young Readers.  It is out of print (unless you have an iPad), although when I checked Amazon for ratings of the print version, I did find used copies available for sale and three 5-star reviews from people clearly excited to find any copy of a much sought after favorite.  I vaguely remember reading this book to the kids I babysat - the year sounds about right. :)

Peterkin, a Read more …

Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

In this Dr. Seuss classic, published in print in 1972, a familiar evening scene emerges, that of a child that just won't go to bed. The story is told in rhyme and features a twist only Seuss could have on this classic bedtime dilemma. The parents point Marvin to bed with a litany of suggestions that includes showing the boy on all manner of conveyance to his bedroom, from a Bumble-Boat to riding in a Zumble-Zay. The illustrations are delightful, right down to the way the adults are never shown, excepting for a hand pointing from the side of the page. This is a book that will make both parents and children giggle in recognition. It is even just about the right length for pajama storytime Read more …

The Berenstain Bears' BIG Bedtime Book by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Berenstain Bears' BIG Bedtime Book was published in print in 2008, and is a great value in digital, featuring six stories from Mrs. Grizzle, the Berenstain bears' babysitter. The stories she tells the cubs are fun twists on familiar fairy tales, starring the bears themselves. The titles included are: 

1. The Three Little Cubs and the Big Bad Pig

2. Goldibear and the Three People

3. The Gingerbread Bear

4. The Three Billy Goats Gruff Meet the Bogg Brothers

5. The Little Red Hen

6. Little Red Grizzly Hood

Each story is under ten minutes on auto play, making all six great for bedtime reading, even for shared storytime. There are also lightly interactive elements that add both fun and Read more …

Monsters University Storybook Deluxe by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Mike and Sully will soon return in Monster’s University, a prequel to Disney’s über-successful movie Monster’s Inc. In preparation for the movies’ release the developers at Disney Interactive have just released Monster’s University Storybook Deluxe, a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad that is certain to be a hit with kids who are anticipating the film’s release. As it begins, the story draws the reader in, inviting her to create an ID -– just like at a real college! Kids can also return later to create additional IDs for their siblings, friends, or even their stuffed animals.

The reader can also decorate her face with monster Read more …

Amelia and Terror of the Night by OhNoo Studio

From OhNoo Studio, Amelia and Terror of the Night is one of the most animated and interactive apps I have seen this year. It definitely will 'Wow' you the minute you begin the app and children are likely to disappear with your tablet, the minute you show it to them. The app even uses motion to let the reader explore the edges of every page and has tons of games hidden within the story. The book has a 'lift the flap' quality that brings something fun and innovative to every page. There are even adorable bugs that you can tap and hold to see them squirm - something hard to resist for both young and old alike.

The interactive elements are primarily in the form of several sections of Read more …

Caillou: What's That Funny Noise? - i Read With learning method and creative game for preschool kids by Tribal Nova

iRead With is a new educational app series from Canadian app developer Tribal Nova, developers of the iLearn with series of educational apps. The first 2 books in the series feature Caillou the popular children’s television character. The books are designed to be used by parents with their preschooler to help prepare them to learn to read. They were developed with McGill University’s Child Phonology Lab and uses the Dialogic Reading method. Simply put this method encourages parents to interact with children when reading to them- prompting them with questions , expanding on their responses, re-iterating important information and encouraging them to re-tell the story.

This Read more …

Snuggle Mountain HD by PicPocket Books

Snuggle Mountain is a new digital offering from PicPocket books, a developer that can be counted on for bringing wonderful picture books once in print back to new life as digital apps. This one is a beauty, published in 2003 and includes rich illustrations and lyrical text. The story follows little Emma as she wakes up early and climbs the 'snuggle mountain' that is her parent's bed, trying to wake the sleeping 'two-headed' giant for breakfast.

The book has nice educational enhancements, including highlighting words as the story is narrated and a list of ideas for reading readiness for Kindergarten. There are also several nice follow-up discussion questions and even a recipe for 'Snuggle 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 …

Around the World with Lilup by Mythos Machine LLC

Lilup is a dog that is so fluffy he just floats away one day. On his journey, he visits many parts of the world by flying over and then gently landing to visit the wild animals below. Then he returns home to rest & dream of his adventures. He soars in the sky with birds, glides over ice, plays with several animals, splashes in the water and even joins in on a hunt.

Many of these adventures offer the reader the chance to interact with Lilup or the other animals by tapping or tilting the device. The scene with the penguins sliding on the ice and then 'huddling' together were my little boy's favorites, always making him giggle. None of these interactions are especially animated, but Read more …

Diana Dreams about Dinosaurs HD by Genera Games

Diana Dreams about Dinosaurs is a delightful animated title from TouchyBooks. It has wonderful interactive elements that reinforce the cute story about a little girl obsessed with dinosaurs. She wakes up to find all the people in town turned into dinosaurs, from the mailman to her teacher at school. But when the school bell rings, she wakes up again to find her own alarm clock making the noise - she had been dreaming! The book then repeats her day with people in place of the dinos, although they are all still sort-of dino-shaped, amusing little Diana to no end.

Fun things to trigger include making Diana run down the stairs and cross the street with the light properly. There are so many of Read more …

Little Bella's - I Close My Eyes by Out Fit 7 Ltd.

Little Bella is a relatively short, animated book released for the iPhone/iPod only.   This book is often a favorite "last book" at bedtime in our house, since the ending has little Bella falling into bed & going to sleep herself.  We usually avoid overly animated or interactive books before bed, since they can be too stimulating, but the overall effect of the music & dreamy animation is relaxing enough even for nighttime.

Each page has little Bella stating in her cute Australian accent, "I close my eyes and I am ..." followed by 12 different imaginative statements, ranging from climbing the tallest tree to becoming a dolphin diving in the ocean.  My son was Read more …

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 …

Twinkle Twinkle Hear My Prayers by Alexis Purcell

From Alexis Purcell, author of The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble and Twinkle, Twinkle Nighty Night, there is a new app out for Christian families and educators about prayer. This title stars a little girl named Leni, saying her nightly prayers. With sweet illustrations and lovely narration, this lightly interactive and animated tale brings sweet dreams while teaching a simple method to remember this prayer for PEACE.

Parents and educators should be aware that this is a religously-themed app with clear Christian themes, including many images of the Christian cross. The prayer itself is non-denominational and could be used, in theory, for any Judeo-Christian family. As the tale is Read more …

My Parents Are Crazy! by Confidence Through Characters, Inc.

My Parents Are Crazy! is an animated, interactive book app from Confidence Through Characters, Inc. It was created by Katherine Geerdes, an educator from Southern California, and is designed to encourage children to read. It has optional narration, word highlighting,(which can also be switched on in read-by-myself mode), and the volume of the background sounds can be adjusted. it also includes a “learn” section with colorful flashcards featuring the sight words from the app, the sight word is spoken if these are touched. There is a page navigation option, so it is easy to return to favorite pages. The app is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links. Read more …

Monsters vs Robots by Leonardo Amora

From Amoraleite and created with Kwiksher software, this new app has a cute story and fun puzzles bundled into the app. The monsters and robots have gathered in the imagination of one young boy, for the final battle. When the "monster boss" arrives it's a showdown of epic proportions. Only the robot monkey knows the code, but young readers can enter it to call the robots over for a rumble!

Relevant interactive elements, like turning out the lights and tapping characters to see additional dialogue fill each of the pages of the short title. The enhancements are polished and intuitive, giving young readers an engaging and sort-of-scary experience appropriate for ages 4-8.

Simple page turn Read more …

Twinkle, Twinkle, Nighty Night by Alexis Purcell

Twinkle, Twinkle, Nighty Night is a sweet book featuring very light animation and simple interactivity that is well tailored to the storyline. Crisp, colorful illustrations with lots of fun details will appeal to children as the nice narration highlights along with the text. The storyline is simple but charming, as the reader gathers items (happy dreams) to deliver to each of the animals (who are having trouble sleeping). Interactivity is perfect for little ones and is not activated until narration ends. A great length and topic for bedtime, although activity apps can be a distraction for young children at night. A page guide would be a nice addition, but parents will be pleased to find no Read more …

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

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

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

Zoobert's BIGGER Day by Patrick Laneville Enterprises

This book features a cute little monster named Zoobert who lives in a sock drawer. He sounds and acts like a young child, making him very relatable and definitely one of the least scary monsters on the planet. The reader gets to be involved in the story, not by touching the screen, but by shaking the device. This can be difficult when young children read it on the iPad, because of its weight, but any movement that has a firm 'jerking' motion will usually do the trick (the page has an arrow to tap as an alternative if shaking seems like a bad idea) An iPhone version is also available, see the 'other versions' tab on this review for the link and more information.

The child begins by shaking 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 …

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 …

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 …

Lootupootu – a bedtime story for children by JOLLY UNIVERSE LTD

Lootupootu from Jolly Universe is about an elf who learns to care for his environment. Little Lootupootu goes on a trip to a park for a picnic, a familiar activity for young readers. While at the park, Lootupootu litters, tossing his trash onto the grass, until the birds teach him about the value of keeping the world clean. The text is clear and easy to read, with original, cartoon-style graphics that will have a lot of appeal for young kids.

This simple storybook has no animation or interactivity, beyond a series of games embedded within the story's pages. The games are cute, although none of them is particularly challenging or educational. You can access all three from the home page or Read more …

The Berenstain Bears Bedtime Battle by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

The Berenstain Bears Bedtime Battle by Stan & Jan Berenstain was published in print for the first time in 1993. In this title Sister & Brother bear argue about bedtime with their parents, sluggishly picking up toys while whining about how unfair things are. Even when Father Bear tries to get the cubs to join in a race to pick up their room, the children are sullen and uncooperative.

In print, the title has received mixed reviews, including several on Amazon.com that point out that unlike many of the other Berenstain Bears' books, this one doesn't seem to have a clear moral. The young bears seem to win in the end, wearing their parents out rather than a typical ending where the whole Read more …

Flight of the Pamplemousse by Whynoceros LLC

Flight of the Pamplemousse is an original iPad tale told in rhyming verse about a boy who dreams about a mythical creature called the "Pamplemousse". He overhears a story half in French that includes a reference to grapefruit or 'pamplemousse' while he is falling asleep, causing him to imagine a fanatastic adventure with a giant Moose-like creature with wings.

This night-time dreaming adventure features beautiful, although almost hypnotic, narration in a crisp British accent. The story may be over many of the youngest readers heads, although my Kindergartner understood it best when I read it to him aloud with different pacing and emphasis, asking questions along the way. The app also Read more …

Miss Spider's Bedtime Story for the iPad by Callaway Digital Arts, Inc.

Miss Spider stars in this popular book series by author David Kirk, and fans of this title on the bookshelf (published in 2006) will want to download a copy of their favorite Miss Spider tale for bedtime in digital form. The 'play' feature is basically an animated movie packaged into the book, lasting over 12 minutes.

Once you are in the reading mode of the book, the interactivity brings the story alive and adds a magical quality to the whole experience. The audio is crisp & lovely with nice, relaxing background music that makes it lovely at bedtime, although there are many games and interactive elements that could be too stimulating for some children.

The pages of the book, under Read more …

Where Do the Swans Sleep? - a fairy tale picture book by HAORGA GmbH Computersysteme-Service-Beratung

*Note: This storybook contains no text for the story for read-along, only audio narration.* 

Looking for a picture book app for tonight’s bedtime? Check out Where Do the Swans Sleep? by Felix Hofmann. This picture book app includes music, audio narration and stunning illustrations where kids follow Felix on an exciting dream journey through the wild, in search of the answer to one question: 'Where do the swans sleep?'

Your kids follow Felix, a young boy that turned into a swan in his dream and goes on a journey in search of an answer. There are 9 beautifully illustrated pages, each one with music and audio narration but no text. Although we like the concept, we found that 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 …

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 …

A Soccer (or Football) Sleepover in Brazil by Forty Winks, LLC

A Soccer (or Football) Sleepover in Brazil by Forty Winks is a iPad only app designed in an interactive storybook format featuring a world cup soccer championship.  The app features the following reading methods: read to me without highlights, read to me with highlights and read by myself.  The app also provides “fun facts” as glossary words which pop up on the bottom of the screen after the pages are in the “read to me” mode.   The app is designed for children from late preschool (age 4) through early elementary school (age 8).  Themes in the book included: friendship, sports, social issues as well as integration with national and international Read more …

City Nights by Tidepool Publishing Inc.

City Nights offers a refreshing alternative to traditional bedtime stories filled with forest creatures wearing pajamas. This digital picture book has a very urban feel to it, incorporating sights and sounds familiar to children living in the city.  We think it would make a great addition to your bedtime library, so we awarded it a TOP PICK for Fun Educational Apps

City Nights is  a new app for the iPad by Tidepool Publishing, Inc.  It has the features we have come to expect in high quality digital picture books, namely a Read to me option with a professional narrator, interesting interactive Read more …

Goodnight Coop by BokBok Books

This new book app, by promising new developer BokBok Books, is a delightful bedtime story perfect for the digital age. Goodnight Coop follows the nighttime routine of a chicken coop with a lyrical tale reminiscent of Goodnight Moon and other classic bedtime books. From "the clothes on the line" to "the black and white cat", each line resonates with a sense of importance delicately balanced alongside the simple storyline.

This is truly a classic-in-the-making, giving young readers a chance to settle in for the night with well-paced storytelling. The coop of fluffy hens includes Fran, Peeper, Ginger & Maryanne. They all know when it's time to go inside and settle down for sleep, 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 …

Cooper Edens Night Rainbow by Lucid Dream Atelier Inc. Apps

Based on the 1970's classic, Cooper Eden's Night Rainbow is as beautiful as it is lyrical. Gorgeous illustrations from the original art-book are paired with Eden's poetic lines. The story itself consists of uplifting responses to a series of melancholy questions, like "If the sky falls tomorrow ... Have clouds for Breakfast," and "If night falls ... Use the stars for Streetlights."

These whimsical passages are touching and touchable. Set up more like an iBook than a typical app, readers scroll by swiping with a pageguide bar at the bottom of the screen. Images are not overly animated, but they do move, allowing younsters to sweep the pictures into place with nice touches like a Read more …

Wake Up Mo! ~ 3D Interactive Pop-Up Book by StoryToys Entertainment Limited

Wake Up Mo!, from StoryToys, is the perfect way to have your children get off to a good start in the morning. This app supports four different languages including English, French, German and Spanish. Wake Up Mo! offers the option to have music on or off, as well as read to me, and the more advanced feature of read myself. There is also a parent area for further options.

I absolutely love the narrator, with his deep rich voice. There are many places to touch on the page for surprise animations. Wake Up Mo! has the unique look of a cardboard toddler book, but in 3-D.

Help Mo get dressed after breakfast and you will be laughing at the snoring sound of the mouse.  The clock in the Read more …

Goodnight Mo ~ 3D Interactive Pop-Up Book by StoryToys Entertainment Limited

Goodnight Mo, by Story Toys, is an enchanting interactive 3D pop-up book to help parents establish a night time bed routine. Mo’s routine gets more cozy and relaxed as the book progresses, from saying Good Night to the sun and the moon outdoors to listening to a lullaby after being tucked into bed with his Teddy. Every page is filled with objects and routines familiar to toddlers and preschoolers, and is a great way to introduce daily habits such as teeth brushing and potty, by having Mo as a model.

The routines appear non-threatening and may ease some more sensitive kid’s anxiety or resistance to transitions or in trying to pursue basic life skills. Going through each Read more …

Pillow Mountain by Van Winkle Studio LLC

The story is a short twelve pages of rhyming fun about a boy named Nolan who has a scary dream and decides to face his fears. The app is cleanly designed and clearly made for the littlest users but gives parents a nice list of settings to choose from. The app opens directly to the first page of the story and begins the narration unprompted. Narration is a calm-sounding woman that we all want to sound like when reading to our kids.

Pages are turned by pushing arrows and readers can go forward or backward at any time to pages. There is a button at the top that opens the page selection, settings, information and mute. Settings include the options to turn off or on all sound, button tap Read more …

Bert E. Bird The Third And The Book Of Great Ideas by Gil Gur Arie

Bert E. Bird the Third and the Book of Great Ideas is a charming app from a new development studio, SoundBox Multimedia, headed up by Gil Gur Arie. This digital book is exceptional in many ways, crafting a fun story with well-tailored interactivity on every page. Play mini-games, tap characters and more in this nicely produced digital storybook for kids 6 and up.

The tale itself begins with a page that says, "The End". This is foreshadowing for a story that is just beginning and will eventually begin again. We meet the main character, Bert E. Bird (The Third) and discover that he has a bit of trouble while falling asleep because of all his fantastical ideas. The story goes on to share Read more …