Pete's Robot by Heartdrive Media LLC

This is a fabulous book app about a little boy, his dog and the robot they build together. The story is told with stick-figure cartoon characters that are charming despite (or perhaps because of) their simple, scribbled style. They live in an eccentric village with a dinosaur chef and a monkey that delivers the mail. Even the font is quirky, but it all comes together beautifully, with light animation and a well-crafted storyline. The best part is a surprisingly diverse set of enhancements that are story-related (and super fun).

As Pete and his dog wait (and wait) for the robot parts to arrive, the reader can swipe the screen to see the sky change from day to night and back to day again, Read more …

Kung Fu Robot by Propaganda3, Inc.

This graphic-novel style app presents an entirely unique and deeply engaging story for older readers, ages six and up. iTunes categorizes this app as 9+ for "Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence" but I tend to agree with this review from one of my favorite sites, SmartAppsforKids.com, by Heather Hetler: "Kung Fu Robot is violent by using nunchucks against chunky peanut butter and swatting away ninjas (from stealing his sandwich) with ninja spray (aka Dad's deodorant!) and a broom in the "Whack-a-Ninja" game. I think it's totally appropriate for even my almost-6 year old daughter."

"Kung Fu Robot has to save the world from ... from a kung-fu sized appetite!" This hip app story is Read more …

Little Robot Lost His Square [RobotSquare] by Kathleen Marie Sweeney

Little Robot Lost His Square is a really well-crafted story, featuring a child robot who desperately wants to find his square (so he can stand on it and help his mom make cookies). The simple illustrations are lightly animated and so expressive that the reader can't help but root for the little robot on his quest. The story has deeper meaning, too, demonstrating the value of 'persistence' as the little robot searches until he finds the square ... just in time to help his mother.

The book has uncomplicated line-drawn illustrations that are charming and expressive. My little boy instantly identified with the little robot and was anxious for him to resolve this all too common problem - Read more …

Bobo Explores Light by Game Collage, LLC

Bobo is a cute little robot that guides readers 6+ through a fascinating series of over 100 pages of facts, videos, physics demonstrations and interactive goodies relating to the science and history of the study of light. The app is thorough, educationally sound and deeply engaging. It is a non-fiction title with over 20 topic pages that open up three additional windows with so much content it will take you well over an hour to get through it all ... but you won't notice the time because this is such an absorbing book.

The beauty of this app is that it can be used in so many ways. You can explore the pages one by one, or jump to a topic you're interested in or are currently studying. Topics Read more …

David Wiesner's Spot by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fans of David Wiesner are familiar with his talent for visual storytelling. Many of his books actually contain no words, as is the case for this app. That leaves readers (or in this case the app users) the ability to use their imaginations and create their own version of what is going on. The white and blue pencil zooms into a snow scene full of sledding bugs and snowflakes. You can even zoom into some mold on a sandwich and discover a whole forest scene, including a ladybug family on a picnic together.

First, the illustrations are phenomenal. I am talking some of the best I’ve seen. This is more than “hey, what a cute picture, let’s see what happens when I tap here” Read more …

Leonard by Ink Robin, Inc

From the developers behind the 5-Star book app, Will & Kate: A Love Story, comes another hit. Attention to detail, polished enhancements, and top notch pacing make anything by Ink Robin a must-download app. This title treats readers to a story about a little boy with a BIG imagination. Leonard wants to make friends, but after moving to the country he discovers that it is harder than ever to find anyone to play with. He (and his blue cat) have many whimsical adventures before Leonard decides to build a friend instead (robot lovers will enjoy this plot twist).

From the moment you open this app, there is something to amuse, even on the cover page. A small 'lever' appears on Read more …

X is for X-Ray (iPad) by Touch Press LLP

With titles for older readers like The Elements, The Wasteland, The Solar System, March of the Dinosaurs and more, Touch Press has a reputation for innovative apps that take exploration to a whole new level. X is for X-Ray is no exception, showcasing the ABCs in a unique way that goes beyond the usual alliteration found in alphabet books. It's truly a book that a child could enjoy at 4 and again at 14 for totally different reasons.

The cover page is an A-Z list of images that bounce, spin and make noise to attract tapping fingers. Start anywhere, from Accordion to Zipper, or page through the objects alphabetically using a nice guide that appears at the bottom. To see each item, simply tap Read more …

This Book Is About To Explode by Reuben Mildren

This title is more game than book, but otherwise fabulous, featuring a dozen pages of fun bombs readers can set up and then watch explode before piecing a complex puzzle back together. The star of the brief storytelling is a robot named Tiki-Zin3 who is searching the universe for alien life. After many pages of patient exploration and repairs, the robot is greated by an act of friendship. The overall design and implementation of the games is intuitive and well-crafted, but as a storybook this app lacks significant narrative intrigue to draw young readers beyond the interactive puzzles.

The games themselves are brilliant, engaging young and old alike in a series of steps to solve Read more …

Messy Mia - Tales and Stories of the Ancient Tech with Trivia Picture Quiz for Kids by AvatarGeneration Ltd

 

Can your kids (or even yourself) have fun without internet or technology? How do you usually entertain yourselves? Do we depend so much on technology that losing it, even for a moment, irritates us and causes disruption to our lives? That’s definitely the case for Mia’s mom. She was angry when she couldn’t find the television remote and ordered Mia to tidy her messy room and look for the remote. But Messy Mia & The Tale of Ancient Tech by AvatarGeneration is more about how technology has evolved over the past generation than how we have become more reliant on technology in our daily lives.

 

While searching for the remote, Mia met a knowledgeable robot who Read more …

Clever Tales by AppGrade

Clever Tales is a collection of 40 folktales and is designed as a 'reading app' that presents original tales, in English or Russian, for reading aloud or for older readers to enjoy by themselves. According to the app's description, the writers of these tales are "people of different nationalities, ages and professions ... from different countries: Russia, Israel, Holland, Colombia, United States, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine and others."

As a 'digital reading app', this book is packed with reading choices, all tales written in the 'once upon a time' style with a variety of moral lessons and topics. The tales are also not scary in any way, making it a great source of bedtime stories for Read more …

Cozmo's Day Off for iPad - Interactive Storybook by Ayars Animation

This is one of those books that takes interactivity to a whole new level.  There are over 100 different places in it's mere 10 pages to amuse kids, including several games embedded in the story.  The animation and overall graphic style reminded me a little of the movie, "Robots". And in some ways, this book is basically like a movie you can touch and shake, triggering all sorts of animation and sound effects.  The animations are definitely of the 'wow' variety, so this is a book that children will want to play with as long as they are allowed.  I put 30 minutes for time, since that was the longest I let my child play with it, but I suspect it could occupy a child for Read more …

Jubitron the Girl Robot: The Lovely Little Picnic by Curious Media Inc.

Curious Media has created an inspired little app in Jubitron, featuring fun interactive elements and story enhancements that take the picture book to a place 'out of this world'. On every one of this book's nearly 20 pages, there is an unique way to engage the reader with the story. From twirling the world beneath the feet of Jubitron to flinging her spaceship through the clouds, this is definitely a title that will capture the interest of young explorers, especially girls.

The story has well integrated and polished enhancements, however it is a bit light on plot. The characters embark on an adventure, but it doesn't get more complex than a picnic interrupted by rain. I must admit, though, Read more …

Nickelby Swift, Kitten Catastrophe by Mythos Machine LLC

This is a very cute story from VivaBooks. Dr. Kafruganegal is an eccentric & well-intentioned inventor who creates some pretty cool machines that don't always work out so well. Like the invisible pen that no one can find. Or the Glo-Diapers that make the baby glow instead. Add to that mix a curious kitten named Nickelby Swift and it's not hard to see how things could turn quickly to catastrophe.

The book has the essential ingredients for a great iPad book. It is full of engaging interactivity, funny illustrations and has a well-crafted story. It's even well-narrated with the option to record your own voice. My little boy loves this book and laughs out loud at Nickelby's escapades. He 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 …

Gidget Has a Glitch by Bright Bunny

This is a short and simple storybook for young readers about a boy and his best friend, a robot named Gidget. The two are inseparable until one day Gidget gets broken. The little boy fixes the robot, giving Gidget Has a Glitch a happy ending. This title is lightly animated with simple movements that can be triggered with a tap. It is just the right amount of enhancement for bedtime reading.

Young readers will appreciate the simple words and easy to read font that highlights as narrated. You can also tap any word to hear it read aloud. The book also has nice background music that can be turned off. The app is solidly made with a home button and simple settings for reading with and without Read more …

Hanna & Henri - The Robot by Tales & Dice AB

Hanna and Henri are two sweet friends from developer Tales & Dice AB who are back for their second adventure together. This time they are helping Hanna's scientific aunt build a robot. What does the robot do? What is he for? Well, you'll have to download the app to find out because you know I don't believe in spoilers. 

From the main screen you are able to manipulate a handful of settings related to the app, like text size and sound. Your kiddo can choose "begin the story" to read the story in full, or press the button at the top of the screen to select a particular chapter from the story. 

The story itself is pleasantly narrated and exquisite language is used Read more …


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