Sleepy Mole's Moving Day by James Scanlon Pty. Ltd.

This is a remarkable little app that lets the reader drive the direction of the story. It stars a little mole, ready for sleep with his teddy bear and striped pajamas. But his nice day's sleep is interrupted by two construction workers digging a hole; now Sleepy Mole has to move on and find a new home. The charming little rodent burrows throughout the story until he finds a new place to sleep.

In digital, there is nothing about the format that requires linear storytelling, so this innovative book allows the reader to choose the direction that the little mole will dig - either up, down, left or right. The effect is very fun. It is even easy to feel as lost as the little mole while choosing Read more …

The Big Brag - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

A rabbit and a bear are full of their own importance, bragging to each other about their superior abilities in this digital edition of a classic Dr. Seuss book, from Oceanhouse Media. The original print title, Yertle the Turtle and other stories contained three tales and was published in 1958. This tale is essentially about vanity and being overly competitive.

The rabbit claims that his hearing is so good, he can hear the tiny cough of a fly on a hill 90 miles away. Not to be outdone, the bear claims it's his nose that makes him superior to the rabbit. "I can smell twice as far as you hear," claims the bear, saying he can smell 600 miles away, where a hummingbird egg has just Read more …

Beau Crow – The Greedy Crow by Jason Harris

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

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

KidsMag Issue 2 by Portegno SA

KidsMag 2 from Portegno Apps is part of a fantastic series of digital 'activity books', including a short but cute storybook. This issue has little brother Teo going on a fishing trip. He and his friends find worms, a perfect spot along the river and cooperate to catch the 'big one'. With 30 pages of activities, this is one of those apps that will keep a bored kid busy (and learning) for nearly an hour.

As a digital offering, this title is solidly made with ample settings to navigate and adjust the apps audio. The story and all activity pages have narration, so even pre-readers can enjoy this app. Illustrations are simple computer graphics but colorful and engaging in a cartoon-like way Read more …

What are you eating? by Tizio BV

What are you eating? is a little book that is a lot of fun for young kids.  It is by a Dutch team called "Sieneke & Tineke" by their fans.  They take the subject of eating and make a story-game of it.  The book is a series of 10 scenes, each one of a child eating. On each page the narrator asks, "What are you eating?" 

The children, pictured with a meal, give an answer that instead reveals what they are pretending.  On the first page, a little boy is tossing his peas back and forth, so he says he is eating, "Frogs that jump from my fork!".  Tap on the boy in the illustration and he makes a "ooh, ooh" sound like he's trying to catch the frogs.  And if Read more …

Even Monsters Get Sick by Busy Bee Studios

Even Monsters Get Sick, written and illustrated by Michael Bruza, is the latest app for youngsters from Busy Bee Studios, makers of the popular Zoo Train. The book is a true gem and a perfect example of why every family needs to invest in an iPad. I was hooked from the first page. If the Apple Stores held midnight release parties for new apps, I’d be one of the crazies standing in line for this one. That’s high praise considering my kids are 10 and one is about to start Hunger Games.

The story’s narrator, who speaks in a child’s voice, is Harry. He trades Mona stickers, gum and a skateboard for her monster, Zub. Trades of things of vastly unequal worth Read more …

The Flying Worm - A Children's Book so Fun You'll Never Stop Wiggling by Byrne Publishing

This book about Wormtown, where the the worms live and play in a cool underground city, is a truly cute story buried in some very odd programming. It is fanciful enough that my son begged me to buy it and loves to read it and play the worm hide-n-seek game (despite it never having different worm hiding places). Yet we don't actually read it very often because it comes with a very odd audio/video track in place of real narration, lasting just over 5 1/2 minutes.

It's delightful in every way ... except for one important feature, THE SOUND. It is absolutely awful, some sort of poorly recorded music that sounds terribly distorted like someone is playing a bad electric organ - I can't even tell Read more …

Gary's Worms by Jack Pot Industries LLC

Gary is a gopher, dreaming of spaghetti, in this adorable sequel to "Gary's Place", a storybook app written by Rick Walton & illustrated by Will Terry. Will is a talented artist and articulate blogger about the artist's journey into digital publishing at willterry.blogspot.com. Readers can also see Terry's art in the suspenseful and nearly wordless book app, Monkey & Croc (one of my personal favorites).

Young readers can choose “Read Myself” or “Read to Me” with nice narration that highlights word for word. A credits page is included but there are no links that leave the app, ads or in-app purchases, making this an ideal app to share with children Read more …


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