The Monster at the End of This Book by Sesame Workshop Apps

This animated re-imagining of a classic Sesame Street book will enchant parents & kids for many re-readings. It may not be a good bedtime choice, but for any other time of day, this one will be a hit. Grover's attempts to keep the reader from turning the pages are even more delightful and amusing in animated form, especially with the chance to interact by touching the screen to undo the brick wall, boards, knots and other tricks he tries to keep the pages from turning. 

There is, however, still no way to simply read the book. The words do highlight as Grover speaks them, though, which is a nice feature for young readers. I just wouldn't suggest giving up your print copy anytime Read more …

Go Away, Big Green Monster! for iPad by Night & Day Studios, Inc.

Ed Emberley's classic print title from 1992 is spelendidly represented in app form, making the original 'die-cut' pop-up style title as relevant for today's children as those who preferred the old school version. Each page, just like the original, takes the potentially scary 'monster' and deconstructs each element, giving children the delightful experience of conquering their night-time fears.

First appear the eyes, then nose and teeth, breaking down the elements of children's fears about monsters in a fun and colorful way. A whole new digital generation can now confidently say, "Go Away, Big Green Monster!" Features include the ability to have the story narrated by Ed Emberley himself, or Read more …

Monster's Socks by Martin Hughes

Storytelling just got a lot cooler with this title about a little monster on a quest to find his lost pair of socks. Not-at-all-scary, this is a book app that will enchant youngsters with innovative features and top-notch production values. The little monster 'walks' across the screen with the help of the reader. Arrows in the bottom corners of each page let kids move the main character back and forth to explore  without any actual page 'turning' involved. This fits the medium beautifully and feels fresh and game-like, despite the more-or-less linear storytelling and well-crafted and paced text. This is definitely a 'book' but also something more.

Creative interactive elements are 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 …

Monsters Behave! A mischievous meal of language, learning and laughter... by Linguino GmbH

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 …

this monster : creatures that love color by Julianna Goodman

"This monster is a color eater," begins a unique and innovative digital book from Julie Goodman of Super Circle. Each of this short title's pages contains a different 'monster' made of movable shapes and images. Young readers are asked to 'feed' the monster different colored items, including fushia tea and a blue peacock. The not-at-all-scary 'monster' changes colors (from green, blue, tangerine, red, black and fuschia), creating an unusal color spectrum.

In addition to the storybook (read myself or read to me with lovely narration from Marty Sidman), this app has two extras. Under Monster Get Dressed!, children can rearrange and create their own 'monster' with shapes, colors and images for Read more …

Beauty and the Beast: Storybook Deluxe by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Disney brings the story of Beauty and the Beast to life in this ebook, 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.

Animated scenes from the movie are interspersed throughout this interactive title, making this storybook stand out from many of the other movie-themed book apps. The tappable scenes animate delightfully and are easy to find with hints, although page turns can be accidentally triggered when the interactivity is too close to the edges of the page (set to Young Reader Mode to Read more …

Even Monsters Are Shy by Busy Bee Studios

 Busy Bee Studios, developer of award winning Even Monsters Get Sick, is back with another equally entertaining and heartwarming book, Even Monsters Are Shy. Even Monsters Are Shy tells the story of Ben and his monster Gurk. Ben receives Gurk as a birthday present and although they have a lot of fun together, they are unable to enjoy group activities because Gurk is extremely shy. Ben wants to take Gurk to see the circus and tries to help him be more comfortable making new friends and being with others, but nothing works. Sadly, Ben gives his circus tickets away. Gurk feels bad and comes up with a plan to make things better. In doing so Gurk surprises not only Ben, but Read more …

Two Left Feet by RESIN PTY LTD

An exceptional storybook in print has arrived in digital with just a little more enhancement than your typical book app ... meet Rufus, a sweet and hardly scary monster, created by author Adam Stower in print in 2004. In the paper version of this storybook, a well-crafted and beautifully illustrated title previously published only in Australia, the story of a little monster with two 'left' feet emerges. Basically, Rufus can't dance, but "as everybody knows, monsters just love to dance" and Rufus shows off his best efforts at the "Grand Ball". In the end, a girl (isn't it always a girl that saves our hero?) arrives on the scene to provide (spoiler alert!) her two 'right' feet for a dramatic Read more …

The Lonely Beast 123 by James Kelleher

Based on Chris Judge's popular print title, The Lonely Beast, this book app is simple but beautiful and filled with unique interactive elements that will surprise and delight young fingers. In the print title, republished in 2011, a cute 'beast' travels far and wide to find friends so he won't be lonely anymore. Simple illustrations in silhouette and crisp clear text make the original print book and this new app well suited to toddlers and preschoolers.

There are many counting apps and books in the digital market, but this one is especially well-designed artistically, with a different approach to the interactive scene on each of the pages, featuring the numbers 1-12. Children will love the Read more …

The Mud Monster by Tizio BV

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

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

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure by Egmont UK

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure is an amazing digital offering, adapted from a 2009 award winning print title for readers age 4-8. It features small animated touches and fun interactivity. The real treat, though, can be found in Stephenson's gorgeous illustrations and story, narrated engagingly by Michael Maloney. In print, this book was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book award and a winner of the Practical Pre-School Bronze medal.

The 5-star reviews at Amazon.com from readers just reinforce the book's literary reception. Charlie is a little boy with a wild imagination. He ventures into a scary castle to find a little princess having a 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 …

Monsters, Inc. Storybook Deluxe by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

This app does not yet have a written review but has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in nine categories.

The Great Cookie Thief... A Sesame Street App Starring Cookie Monster by Callaway Digital Arts 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!

My Beastly ABCs by Duncan Studio, Inc.

My Beastly ABC’s by Duncan Studios is a delightfully designed ABC app designed to teach and entertain children with an interactive storybook format featuring vibrant illustrations and animations that children and their parents will love.  The app, designed by Duncan Studios features 39 pages, hide and seek as well as interaction on each page as well as a variety of hidden mini games.  Best of all, the app is narrated or “performed” by Jim Dale, from Harry Potter, so immediately people are drawn in by the performance of the book.  The interactive story features a little boy who goes from morning when he gets up on the “wrong side of the Read more …

Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside their World by M5859 Studios Pty Ltd

As far as children are concerned, dinosaurs are right up there with pony rides, no bedtime, and unlimited ice cream. So naturally, you’ve gotta do dinosaur story times. And what could be better than an app that shows these amazing creatures in action? Not much. In my story time last week, the app BBC Earth: Walking with Dinosaurs made them come to life and the children went nuts.

The home page of the app has three different options. “Features” provides different screens with general information about dinosaurs and their environment, the different periods (Jurassic, etc.), famous discovery sites, how fossils are formed and excavated, and divisions of dinosaurs. Read more …

Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 2: The Button at the Bottom of the Sea by Monster Costume

Bartleby is back! My little one loved Vol. 1: The Faraway Island and was very excited to explore this new title. In the sequel, we find our button-obsessed protagonist heading out on a quest for a button at the bottom of the sea. Bartleby's lady-friend Sally helps him on his quest, which involves traveling in a submarine to the ocean floor. With light animation and ingenious interactivity, Bartleby Vol. 2 is a book-game hybrid that children (and many adults) will find deeply entertaining.

The reader needs to find the proper combination of actions on each page to allow the story to continue. There are buttons, switches, levers and pulleys on nearly every page that challenge the reader Read more …

Jabberwocky 3D by Mythos Machine LLC

In 1872, Lewis Carroll wrote Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (a sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland). Part of this novel was Jabberwocky, a poem considered by many to be the finest English language 'nonsense' poem ever written. Nonsense verse is "light, often rhythmical, (and) usually for children ... depicting peculiar characters in amusing and fantastical situations" according to Wikipedia.

In educational settings, this poem is often a useful tool for building language skills and inspiring creative writing assignments. Examples range from using Jabberwocky to teach creative writing to middle schoolers,  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 …

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 …

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 …

Welcome to Monster Isle in 3D - A Peek 'n Play Story App by Mobad Games

Mobad Games has once again brought a 3D book app to the iPad for a storytelling adventure your child will not soon forget. It begins not unlike Gilligan's Island, with a group of innocent tourists going for a short boat tour. Lots of interactive elements and light animation enhance the story nicely, along with dozens of fun items to find. A detailed list of the hidden 'extras' can be found in the page-guide and includes pieces of the map of Monster Isle, which can then be viewed at the end of the story.

Settings for this title include the ability to turn hints on or off, silence the background music (a familiar tune from Mobad's previous apps plays that is nice enough, but on a Read more …

Monster Morning by Franca Munoz

This app does not yet have a written review but has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in nine categories.

Note to readers: This rating was expedited by the developer for a small fee. The content of the rating/review is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized. 

Boquitas: The Hunt for the Chupacabras by Lima Sky

This is a well-crafted storybook app about a family living with a pet chicken named Diva. After criticizing her sister's pet, Candela discovers that Cari's beloved chicken is missing! Could the legendary Chupacabra have gotten to her first? Even Abuela believes in the monster, so when the two sister and their brother Beto venture into the woods to save Diva, many surprises are in store.

This title features great animation, interactivity and music ... but it is not narrated. Available in both English and Spanish within the same app, it is still a great read to share with children or have them read by themselves. With lots of suspense, cartoon-like animations and an engaging storyline, this 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 …

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 …

Vlad's Vampire Bats by Frosby Designs Ltd.

Vlad is a Vampire with a fate as terrible as King Midas ... only Vlad turns everything into bats not gold. This makes poor Vlad very lonely. But love is in the air, even for our fanged-friend Vlad. One day he finds a beautiful girl vampire picking flowers in the woods and falls in love. The two turn his castle into a sanctuary for bats and live happily ever after ... a gentle ending for a book about vampires.

This title features fun computer-graphic style illustrations and a story that will warm even the coldest vampire heart. Animations are very slight, but satisfying. Interactive elements are nicely tied to the storyline (for the most part) and will have young readers eager to turn the 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 …

Doubting Dasha by Tatyana Mironova

A little girl named Dasha is the heroine of this story app, created by Tatyana Mironova. Dasha is braver than all the people in her village, or at least her actions are brave because she doubts that the scary creatures in the forest really exist. When she volunteers to venture out into the night to find out who is stealing the villager's grain, she is laughed at ... at first.

Over the course of a dozen pages, however, Dasha proves herself to be both brave and smart. Her extraordinary adventures introduce her (and young readers) to wolves, witches, giants and more. In the end Dasha discovers ways to help each of the feared (and misunderstood) creatures, making friends along 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 …

Baby's First Monsters: ABCs by Zachary Fisher

Baby's First Monsters: ABC is a unique approach to a children's alphabet book. Instead of the traditional objects found in alphabet books, like toys and cute baby animals, this title has an assortment of "legendary creatures and mythical monsters". There is even a complete wiki-sourced glossary to help out those less familiar with the mythical world. The creatures range from an 'Angha' (mythical giant bird with head of dog & claws of lion) to a Zilant (A winged snake/dragon like creature).

The app is separated into 3 sections plus the glossary of terms. There is the "Alliteration Academy" which contains 26 pages with each animal representing the letters of the alphabet. Then there Read more …

Baby's First Monsters: 123 by Zachary Fisher

Baby's First Monsters: 123 is a unique approach to a children's counting book. Instead of the traditional objects found in counting books, like toys and cute baby animals, this title has an assortment of "legendary creatures and mythical monsters". There is even a complete wiki-sourced glossary to help out those less familiar with the mythical world. The creatures range from an 'Abada' (mythical animal similar to a unicorn in the Kongo language) to a Yeti (ape-like creature said to live in the Himalayas of Nepal, India & Tibet).

The app is separated into 3 sections plus the glossary of terms. There is the "Rhyming Bridge" which contains 20 pages with each animal representing the numbers Read more …

Shrek Forever After- Kids' Book HD by FrogDog Media

This app version of the beloved movie, "Shrek Forever After," is a visually beautiful book on the iPad.  It has still images of all the major plot points from the movie while doing a nice retelling of Shrek's run-in with Rumpelstiltskin.  The story has a nice moral, too, since in the end Shrek learns to appreciate what he has.  For fans of the movie, this iPad book version will also be a fun trip through all their favorite scenes.

This book is not, however, animated in any way, which can be a disappointment to kids who are expecting an experience more like the animated iPad movie-book releases.  As a parent, though, I realize that this book might be a nice bedtime treat Read more …

Monster Jam by Michelle Anaya

Created by Blue Sandpiper Imprints, this monster-themed and musical book app has engaging illustrations from Victor Guiza (illustrator of Treasure Kai series). The interactivity & light animation are fun, but the story itself is the highlight, featuring a tween-friendly plot about a garage band with monster youth as characters. From lead singer Axe, his monster friends Banger and JD, to lead singer Skyler (who loses her voice in this episode) and Stones (a monster who has zit-like geodes adorning his body), this is one talented gang. In-app games include a simple tic-tac-toe game and also the ability to play the band's instruments, including a piano, guitar and drum set. While the Read more …

2. A Yucky Adventure by Bridget Cull

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.

Mutant ABCs HD by DIEHARD Studio

Mutant ABC's is a cute Alphabet book staring crazy cartoon letters. The illustrations are expressive and engaging, with monster-shaped ABCs with feet, hands, crazy mouths and eyes that dart to and fro. My little boy enjoyed this app so much he was a ball of giggles.

The audio narration is distorted in a fun way, although this could be a difficulty for very young children learning basic articulation. Each letter also features a cute mystery envelope. Tap on the envelope to see a word that starts with that letter and accompanying image. It features a tiny bit of animation (limited to eyeballs moving) and simple settings, like page-turn arrows (shaped like puddles), a home button and narration Read more …

The Greebley Greebley by James Scanlon Pty. Ltd.

In this book, you’ll find a monster that you can design yourself and then see appear inside the story’s pages. It’s about a town famous for having it’s own monster, The Greebley. One day the townsfolk kick him out for being a nuisance, but they soon realize the town is not quite the same without their mascot. Light interactivity and nice background sounds, but no narration. Overally a well-crafted monster story, perfect for year-round reading.

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


Tale of Sasquatch by Ever After Tales, LLC

In this charming fairy tale from Ever After Tales, we learn how Sasquatch (Big Foot) came into existence. It all begins with a play-like experience as the curtains rise on Act 1 (of 3). A young boy named Rupert stars in this this sweet tale alongside an adorable sock puppet named Mr. Stinky. Rupert's mother sends him on an adventure to forage for food, along with a protective magic ring that can call a fairy godmother (or a witch if rubbed the wrong way!). Both appear along the route, with an ending that has a bear turning from scary to silly until finally he becomes a creature altogether new with a surprise twist that only the title gives away.

Featuring kid-pleasing characters Read more …

Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler by Highlights for Children, Inc.

Welcome to Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler. It's a new app in the Highlights education series, featuring games on every page that take young pre-readers on a journey from day to night. Fans of the magazine (packed with games, puzzles and articles for children) will not be disappointed in this digital offering. Monster Day is pure fun for pre-readers, while also being an exceptional wordless picture book in app form.

Monster Day is a hybrid between a game and a book. I could imagine it in print as a pop-up book without text. On the opening screen youngsters get to choose a monster "child" from five options. They will then find this cute creature asleep in 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 …


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