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 Very Hungry Caterpillar™ & Friends – Play & Explore by StoryToys Entertainment Limited

March 20, 2014 marked the 45th birthday of Eric Carle’s beloved book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To celebrate StoryToys released a fantastic new app called The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends: Play And Explore. Parents and Children who have grown up with Eric Carle’s works are sure to recognize characters from several of his books including Brown Bear, The Very Quiet Cricket, Mister Seahorse, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Grouchy Ladybug, and Hermit Crab. Indeed, this app feels as if all these characters came together for one awesome birthday party!

There are eight chapters or sections in this app. It features the same beautiful and vibrant illustrations children have come Read more …

Numberlys by Moonbot Studios LA, LLC

"Once upon a time there was no alphabet, only numbers," begins this highly polished app from Moonbot Studios. The story is told in a theatrical way, with exceptional computer animation and interesting games built into the storyline. The look of the app is very dark, in monochromatic tones that remind one of a black & white propaganda film about a communist country during the cold war. It even feels omnious at times, with dramatic music and a narrator with what sounds like a combination of an eastern European accent and a computerized voice.

This grim world is transformed by five number-named characters that have a dream ... to go beyond numbers and create a world that is more expansive Read more …

123 Shape Up Number Town, Learn to Count by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

123 Shape Up Number Town is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two herself and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Sally Seven the Sports Star who is trying to help the school children stay fit. 

One day, Sally Seven has an idea for a 'walking school bus' as a way for children to walk to school. They all meet - along with adult volunteers - to walk to school together the next morning. Sally also inspires the townsfolk to roller-skate, take karate and go bowling in this great story about physical fitness. The book also re-enforces Read more …

A Very Busy Week, Stories from Tilly's Number Town by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

A Very Busy Week is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two herself and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Nurse Trixie Six who is the one having 'a very busy week'.

In this book the nurse has so many patients that she can hardly keep up, including an outbreak of the measles in the Kindergarten. Soon even the nurse herself is sick, covered in red dots. Before becoming ill, she treats many patients, including the fisherman, policeman and bee keeper. She even helps Tilly Two by sewing her toy bear's eye back on.

As a digital book, this title is Read more …

Great Snail Race, Kids Stories from Tilly's Numbertown by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

Tilly Two in Number Town is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague that has recently been published in the app store. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is a nurse, Trixie Six and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Tilly Two, a little girl in Mrs. Smart's class. The setting is 'show & tell' plus a lesson on 'mini-beasts' (bugs and little animals). One of the children brings a snail for show & tell and Mrs. Smart decides the class should have an old fashioned snail race the next day.

Tilly's snail, a little guy named Toffee, gets the number two of course. All the children cheer the Read more …

Trouble at Trio Farm by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

Trio Farm is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Freda Three who needs the villagers to help figure out who has ransacked her store. Featuring great illustrations and storylines that are delightfully paced for young readers, this is one series of book apps that is perfect for 4-8 year olds.

As a digital book, this title is well made with easy swipe page turning or the alternative of auto-play. The text highlights as it is narrated in a crisp Australian accent. There are several small interactive 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 …

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 …

Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

I love this series by Eileen Christelow, but I always think, "Poor Mama!" Funny & full of fun plot twists plus a surprise ending, this title has it all. In this story, Mama is taking her brood on a shopping trip for new school clothes. As they arrive at the store, she says, "Stick with me and don't go wandering off!"

The monkeys wander off, of course, making for a fun story with lots of interesting math. Mama counts the monkeys several times during the story, never quite getting things to add up to five. Fewer monkeys is a big concern and sends Mama on a frantic search to find the missing monkeys ... but what could it mean when she counts more than five?!? This is one funny and engaging Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car by Oceanhouse Media

This is another 'Five Monkeys' book from the beloved book series by Eileen Christelow. Like Five Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, this is an adorably illustrated ebook based on a print title published in 2000. When I checked the Amazon.com reviews for the print version I discovered that even the lowest rated reviews 'highly recommend' this title - the series is just that good. In digital form, these books are transformed with sound, interactivity and text that highlights as it is read.

In this story, the monkeys try to help mama sell their old beat-up car by washing, painting & perfuming the vehicle (it still doesn't run). Then they push it down the hill in an effort to get more Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

This is another 'Five Monkeys' book from the beloved book series by Eileen Christelow. Like Five Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, this is an adorably illustrated ebook based on a print title published in 2000. When I checked the Amazon.com reviews for the print version I discovered dozens of 5 star reviews - the series is just that good. In digital form, these books are transformed with sound, interactivity and text that highlights as it is read.

In this story, the monkeys are on a picnic with Mama and while she naps, they all climb into a tree and begin taunting a crocodile. One by one, they appear to fall into the river and get eaten with a 'SNAP!' This could be disturbing to both Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

I love this series by Eileen Christelow, but I always think, "Poor Mama!" Funny & full of fun plot twists plus a surprise ending, this title, published in print in the late 90's, has it all. The book was originally titled, "Don't Wake Mama!" which is fitting as the monkeys try to bake a cake and make Mama a present without waking her up. This book doesn't have the counting down rhythm that some of the other Five Monkeys titles have, but it is charming nonetheless.

From the beloved series by Eileen Christelow, this is an adorably illustrated ebook based on a print title published in 1996. In digital form, these books are transformed with sound, interactivity and text that Read more …

Josh & Emma Go to the Beach by Jasra Inc

This cute title under the category 'education' is actually a sweet storybook about two kids going to the beach and counting things into their shiny red pail. The counting interactivity is only for numbers 1-5, but it is a good complement to the simple story. This app is appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers in particular. The text is also in a clear, easy to read font that would be suitable for young readers. Nice sound effects accompany most of the tappable interactions.

The illustrations are simple but engaging. The book is also narrated by children, making it appealing to youngsters. The audio doesn't have the same polished, professional feel that many app books now have, but it is Read more …

Elmo’s Big Birthday Bash! – A Sesame Street Step Into Reading App by Random House Digital, Inc.

Elmo's Birthday Bash is a fun app with a few areas for improvement to live up to expectations of educational enhancement worthy of the Sesame Street label. It has a story that isn't riveting but does provide for an "early reader" quite well with simple text that highlights as narrated by Bob McGrath, an original cast member in his 43rd season on the show. Fun games are also included that let kids match beginning letter sounds and rhyming words. These games can be included in the story or excluded in the apps ample settings.

These settings include a page guide, easy self-recording options and other solid ways to navigate and set-up the app. Arrows are present to turn the page forward, Read more …

Ten Giggly Gorillas by Wasabi Productions Pty Ltd

This is an adorable, animated counting book from Graham Nunn, creator of the Larry Lizard series of book apps. Ten cute primates swing from the branches of a tree on every page. Each one has a different item; from a pirate's hat to a teddy bear, each animal is different. On every page, the reader is asked to 'tickle' one of the gorillas under the arm. After tapping the right gorilla, the animal swings around, giggling until he falls off the tree. Now the count is down by one ...

The story goes on like this for ten pages, until there are no gorillas left. Now the reader will see the page slide down to show a lower part of the same tree with all the gorillas hanging on. The Read more …

The Harvest Festival, Stories from Number Town by 123 Number Fun Pty Ltd

The Harvest Festival is part of a series of app books by Jane Hague. This Australian series is set in a town with many interesting characters - all numbered. For instance there is Tilly Two and Policeman Ernie Eight. The main character of this story is Nun Nine who is gathering items from each of the people in town, like 3 cartons of eggs from Freda Three the Farmer and 5 jars of honey from Mr. Hive Five.

As a digital book, this title is well made with easy swipe page turning or the alternative of auto-play. The text highlights as it is narrated in a crisp Australian accent. There are several small interactive sound effects to go along with the otherwise still images, like the sound of bees Read more …

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Oceanhouse Media

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a delight in digital form, with bright beautiful pictures of the beloved classic Dr. Seuss. For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is read.  Tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 'read-it-myself' mode.  All of the Dr. Seuss books are an excellent choice for children learning to read because they are filled with simple words (mostly 'sight words' in fact).  They are popular with parents and children precisely because they make learning to read fun.

Although each page is essentially a still image, many pages begin by panning over Seuss' classic original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each segment Read more …

12 Days of Christmas - Polk Street Press Singalong by Polk Street Press LLC

This is a beautifully illustrated musical app with both a sing-along and play-along mode. In play-along mode, the reader needs to tap the numbers as the song counts down, with the numbers shuffling with every scene. Not only is this a fun mode to watch, it also reinforces counting quite nicely. The number that needs to be tapped next does highlight slightly if the child doesn't tap anything right away. A small pause/play button serves as a home button when tapped. In sing-along mode the app really shines, offering both an audio and video recording option. You can even record your own music if you want. Words for the traditional song scroll along the bottom of the page while instrumental Read more …

Big Red Barn by Dipali Vaidya

This is a simple but engaging book for very young children. It has cheery, colorful images of a farm, farmer, barn and lots of animals. Each page begins with a number and corresponding group of animals, from 1 dog barking all the way up to 10 geese honking. For interactivity, tap any number to hear it read aloud.

The child can also tap on a little image of each animal featured to hear sound effects that match the noise described (i.e. barking, honking, ...). This makes the book fun for kids, although a bit noisy. My son enjoyed this book so much he wanted to read it over and over. Adults may find the repetitive story & noises less charming, but the book is perfect developmentally for Read more …

Buckle My Shoe by appropo llc

I have loved using Anna Grossnickle Hines’ version of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe in storytimes for years.  With its quilted illustrations, the slight variation in text from the traditional rhyme (just enough to make it interesting, not so much that it becomes weird or unfamiliar), and the layers of detail that you can choose to explore with kids or not, depending on how squirrely your group is (How many buttons are on this page? Where did that red thread come from?), this book is rich with read-aloud possibility. I was delighted to learn recently that this book has now been translated into an app called Buckle My Shoe by appropro!

I am happy to report that Read more …

Endless Numbers by Originator Inc.

Endless Numbers, from developer Originator Inc., opens to a carrossel full of numbers to be chosen by swiping or tapping. The selected number word is narrated as the reader matches the image via dragging. The reader is then asked to touch the monster's eye, activating the adventure. For number one, the word is "unicycle" and the cute monster rides (or tries to) the unicycle before falling off. The narrator says, "It is hard for little blue to ride a unicycle because it has only one wheel."

A number adventure awaits young learners in this follow-up app to the popular Endless Alphabet & Endless Reader. Adorable monsters scatter the numbers after the user taps. Young readers can then Read more …

How Far is UP by E Sargeant

How Far is Up? is a new and mesmerizing storybook app about three friends who wonder how far it is to the moon, sun and even to the faraway galaxies beyond our own. Rusty, Buster and Ting explore the concept of "up" in a familiar, earth-bound world ... from the top of a cupboard to a tall tree, and then to the peak of a mountain. Soon they look farther, beyond the well-known to our greater universe, expanding their view by traveling in a rocketship. The reader is taken along on this exploration of the stars, planets and space, with a wonderful mix of facts and musings.

The story unfolds with perfect pacing alongside lyrical verses and some of the most beautiful piano music I've ever heard Read more …

One Giggly Gorilla by Wasabi Productions Pty Ltd

This is an adorable sequal to Ten Giggly Gorillas, an animated counting book from Graham Nunn, creator of the Larry Lizard series of book apps. As the app opens, one cute primate swings from the branches of a tree. With each subsequent page, additional gorillas are added, one by one. Readers tap and hold the branch the gorillas are on to catapult them up to the next section of a tall tree. Each gorilla has something unique; from a pirate's hat to a tutu, each animal is different.

The story goes on like this for ten pages, until there are no gorillas left. As the story progresses, the reader will see the page slide down to show a lower part of the same tree with all the gorillas hanging 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 …


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