The Princess and the Frog Read-Along by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Disney brings the story of The Princess and The Frog 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 sound effects & additional dialogue from the characters are also nicely tailored to expand on the story's plot. Learner readers will appreciate that the text highlights as read and parents will Read more …

The Body Language of Veronica Sue by Black Dog Books, LLC

From the developer of the "Violet" series of book apps comes, Veronica Sue, a little frog who helps young children get in touch with their feelings and physical reactions to everyday events. Veronica is adorable and has a body that 'talks to herself' telling her more about how she feels. From sweating in the sun to feeling shy around new kids, this theme continues on over a dozen beautiful pages with light animation and interactivity.

This book also has lovely background music that pairs nicely with the expressive illustrations, athough it is on a rather short loop. The story itself has nice pacing that is made even better with the engaging narration (although it does not highlight as Read more …

A Frog Thing by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Based on the very popular 2006 print title by Eric Drachman, A Frog Thing is the kind of storybook that makes for an instant classic. It's about a frog named Frank who wants to fly, despite being told that flying isn't a 'frog thing'. Eventually Frank gets his wish in a creative way that is both satisfying and surprising.

Earlier this week, my Kindergartner came home with the print version of A Frog Thing, having chosen it himself on library day at school. We were both excited to find this app released just a day later for our iPad! It's a perfect digital translation, too, featuring the great narration originally included on an audio CD that accompanied the print title.

Ultimately, this app Read more …

The Waterhole - Graeme Base by AppBooks

Based on the 2001 print title, this fascinating app brings Graeme Base's tale about animals gathering at a waterhole to life. Filled with games and an interactive storybook, this app is sure to please young and old alike. It isn't quite the same as the art-book style print title, but children will pour over this digital version to find the hidden creatures in this stellar counting book all the same.

The images are gorgeous in this app, however I would love to see the initial page with text much larger and highlighting as it is read. It is tiny and the image doesn't seem to really take advantage of the screen size. A 'loading screen' also disrupts things periodically. A page guide and Read more …

Emma Loves Pink by WingedChariot Press

Emma loves Pink is an adorable little ebook with charming illustrations and sweet narration. The story is about Emma, a little girl who loves pink. And I mean REALLY loves pink. She'd like everything to be pink, even the trees and sky. When her froggy friend gives her a present, she imagines all sorts of pink things it could be ... but then discovers it is a cabbage. This green veggie is tasty though and she decides maybe green isn't such a bad color afterall. When she kisses froggy on the cheek to thank him, he turns pink with embarrassment, much to her delight.

This book has simple page swiping and is solidly made. There is also a small 'extra' called "stickers" that lets the child pick Read more …

Lola & Fred by Pul Edition GmbH

My rating for this digital book is likely to seem very high considering what this app doesn't have - no animation, no interactivity, no audio, and not even text. It's just a high resolution ebook based on a print title with illustrations that tell a story without words. The illustrations can be zoomed in and out with a pinch of your fingers, but that's it. Compared to my other 4 star reviews, this book doesn't take advantage of much of what an iPad can 'do'.

But wait! What this book lacks in features, it gains in being a unique title, even among print books. Picture books for young children that are filled with rich, expressive illustrations and no words at all have an important place in a Read more …

Grimm's Frog King by JustKidsApps - Katrin Draemann Barothy

Grimm’s Frog King includes two versions of the traditional folktale from the Grimm brothers in both German and English.  One is presented with a straightforward retelling of the story – the other includes some modifications as suggested by a co-moderator, a young girl who is sure to interject her own thoughts, criticisms and feedback to the story in the funny version (complete with alternate ending and a froggy family photo album).

The book includes lovely detailed illustrations by artist Vivianne Dommann that include tappable audio spots with sound effects and additional dialogue.  The pictures can also be zoomed to explore details (but audio doesn’t work Read more …

Phil and Freddy's Picnic by Michael Rigsby

Lightly animated and interactive in a way that enhances the storyline, Phil and Freddie stories are a fun series to share with children. Featuring English and Spanish text and narration (just tap the text to trigger the voice-over), this series stars two frogs, Phil & Freddy. In this adventure they go on a picnic, but they forget to bring the blanket, basket of goodies and pretty much everything you need for a picnic. But no worries, this pair is great at pretending!

This series has simple but lovely illustrations and when tapped, the images of Phil and Freddie show thought bubbles with images of what each frog is imagining. Other interactive elements include sound effects and solid but Read more …

Magic Thumbelina by Oleksandr Pogrebniak

Magic Thumbelina is a gorgeously illustrated version of the classic children's story about a little 'thumb' sized girl who goes on a journey among the small creatures of the forest. She meets frogs, a mouse, a mole (whom she almost marries), a swallow she nurses back to health and finally, a forest elf who turns out to be a prince (whom she does marry, of course).

This digital title is lightly animated and interactive with high quality music throughout. It is not narrated and is a bit difficult to read aloud smoothly for want of a bit of polishing in the text. The story follows the tradtional tale but seems to have been poorly edited, missing prepositions and displaying some interesting Read more …

Dear Zoo by Pan Macmillan

Based on the classic 1982 Rod Campbell title, Dear Zoo is an adorable and beautifully enhanced book app that takes the very best of a traditional 'lift-the-flap' title in print and brings it to digital seamlessly. Children will enjoy this story, about a child who writes to the zoo to send a new pet, but each animal is not quite right for different reasons. A fun matching game is also included, letting kids match the animals in the book to the words used to describe them - like "too scary" or "too big". Eventually a perfect pet is sent to the youngster, one that is just right.

This app is well made and intuitive to use, but it does lack some of the settings and features that book app reader Read more …

Mabell's Zoo - Interactive Counting Book by Brenda Long

Mabel's Zoo is a simple but lovely storybook app that explores familiar animals found in a zoo for the very youngest readers. Simple text, lacking grammatical polish, accompanies each patchwork scene. "Elephant gives rides to the birds", "Monkeys swing from vinces and each other" and "Tangs bring sunshine to the ocean" are typical phrases found in this book app, explaining to young listeners the basics of wildlife. Within the app's 10 pages (no pageguide), children will find the sounds and sights of many zoo animals. This is an app that is fun to explore and share with a young child, especially when teaching about the natural world and animals.

Recommended.

This app has been thoroughly Read more …

Over in the Jungle by Dawn Publications

Over in the Jungle is a beautifully illustrated book app based on the print title published in 2007. Author Marianne Berkes weaves a simple but sweet story about jungle animals over ten pages, counting one-by-one until by all the animal babies have been found. This well-crafted tale, told in rhyme, is delightful and can be read aloud, narrated (with highlighting) or even sung to young listeners.

As lovely as the story is, the illustrations are even better! Beautiful colors depict diverse creatures from monkeys to insects with light interactivity and animation. The jungle comes alive with Jeanette Canyon's original creations. Music is also lovely as an addition to this multi-media app, Read more …

Moonlight Hide and Seek by Weily Apps

Moonlight Hide and Seek is another one of a kind storybook by Weily Apps that is sensational. It teaches simple counting with adding and subtracting within the storyline. Set in the country at night, kids have the opportunity to interact with a variety of night creatures. Play involves picking an animal and a number and finding out how many other animals are hiding using a base of ten. Kids have plenty of choices to help navigate the story, and the results are that no repeat play is quite the same. On each page is a counting line, which would be fun to make up as a tangible for kids to cipher with while reading the story. Included are interesting facts about the Read more …