The Strange & Wonderful World of Ants by Amos Latteier

5-Star Re-Review [Originally published January 13, 2011] The Strange & Wonderful World of Ants is one of very few titles given 5 stars on this site. And that was before this substantial update. The book is now truly phenomenal for an educational ebook. It is, in my opinion, one of the best examples for developers who would like to create innovative non-fiction ebook apps.

This update includes narration for the easiest reading level, making this a title that is versatile enough for even young pre-readers while still being engaging for older readers and even adults. Unless you are an entomologist, you will likely learn something new about ants while reading this book. The 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 …

The Little Bug by Jaclyn Littman

The Little Bug by Jaclyn Littman is a stellar work of art created by this MICA grad student as her MFA thesis project! Wow, glad to see students and schools getting up to speed with tech and all the possibilities of graphic design in the future. The Little Bug app beautifully showcases original cut-paper illustrations, engaging interactivity, and fab narration.

This is a class app! Oh, and did we mention the original sound track? Joshua Cipolla is responsible for the jaunty music. This app was designed for ages 3 and up, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out, it is virtually for all ages. The Little Bug is a terrific lesson Read more …

In The Wild! Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

In The Wild is Oceanhouse Media’s newest Cat in The Hat Learning Library collection yet! It is a perfect set of four books that will get children excited about zoology, just in time for the new school year.

Safari, So Good! is a brand new book and is currently found exclusively with this collection. Children will take a journey deep in the jungles of Africa to learn more about familiar animals like elephants, cheetahs, rhinos. They will also meet unfamiliar ones that may surprise them like the kudu and the sickle horned sable.

If I Ran the Rainforest is an exciting book where children will discover that there are different kinds of rainforests. They will also learn that Read more …

Alphabet of Insects by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Alphabet of Insects from the Oceanhouse Media's Smithsonian Collection - is a beautifully illustrated alphabet book about bugs, the natural world and science. The print version of this title was released in 2007 along with an audio CD and poster. As a book app, this title sparkles, giving enormous value over its print counterpart, including narrated text that highlights as read. This book series fills a great need for digital book apps with non-fiction educational content. The books selected so far have been well vetted as print titles, making it easy as parents & educators to select these digital books with confidence.

Each title in this series takes the Read more …

Shout Science! by Scott Dubois

Shout Science! by teacher, Scott Dubois, is a cool new app that engages kids in scientific discovery in a fun and engaging format. Shout Science! is a wonderful tool for teachers to educate kids about the scientific revolution, which took place in Europe beginning in the 1500’s. But – Heads Up, this app offers many features that could be applied to other subject areas so don’t let the title limit you! Geography, reading, math, and the arts, are all incorporated into the three narrative biographies of some of the earliest scientists. Shout Science! is the type of app that any teacher will love to illustrate an array of different ideas and skills.

Teachers With Apps Read more …

The Bugabees by FlyingWord, Inc.

Based on the 2009 print title by Amy Recob, this sweet storybook is now available as an app with interactive enhancements and games about each of the food allergies explored in the narrative. The story features common situations where children with food allergies might face difficulties, like attending a birthday party, trick-or-treating and eating in the school cafeteria. In each situation, the bug character models a great attitude by responding, "No thank you, It's really okay. I can still have lots of fun without [name of allergic food] anyway." Adorable children's voices narrate the bugs' voices, which highlight word-for-word

This story is told in nicely crafted rhyming verse, with Read more …

Collins Big Cat In The Garden Story Creator by Harper Collins Publishers Limited

The Collins Big Cat series was created in the past decade by UK based Collins Education, the third-largest educational publishing house in the United Kingdom, and an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. In the Garden, based on the print title by Mitch Cronick with illustrations from Melanie Sharp, was published in 2005. According to the description:

"What happens when Mum is in the garden tidying up, but the children just want to play? This simple, humorous story book shows two boys creating mayhem while Mum works on, unaware. It explores the different places they find to play, from the tent, to the sandpit, through the grass, the leaves and the mud before finally Read more …

Amico Ragnolo by Small Bytes Digital

Amico Ragnolo, from Small Bytes Digital, was shortlisted in 2014 for the Bologna Digital Ragazzi Award. It is an original story, based on an Italian children's book of the same name. In English, the title is "My Friend the Spider" and it is about a duck that befriends a rather talented spider (along the line of Charlotte's Web). Ragnolo can make his web into many things, including the Eiffel Tower or even a sword for play-fighting with his new ornithological friend.

The app is well made although it lacks any settings to disable the background music from the narration. It also contains two cute games, Dot-to-Dot and Web Checkers (actually a memory Simon-style game). The games are embedded in Read more …

Lucy Ladybird by Sharon Chai

Here at Digital-Storytime.com, we love book apps about "being different" and Lucy Ladybird is a title we have enjoyed for nearly a year. With light interactivity and animation, this gorgeously illustrated app tells the story of a bug who is rejected by her peers for lacking 'spots'. Feeling "sad and alone", little Lucy flies off to admire (and envy) other creatures who have 'spots'. She discovers the other animals are much more friendly and generous than her ladybird 'friends', for a surprise ending that will please readers and listeners of all ages.

This book is also available in print, from talented author and illustrator Sharon King-Chai. Created in the UK, the term "ladybird" is more Read more …

Miss Spider's Bedtime Story for the iPad by Callaway Digital Arts, Inc.

Miss Spider stars in this popular book series by author David Kirk, and fans of this title on the bookshelf (published in 2006) will want to download a copy of their favorite Miss Spider tale for bedtime in digital form. The 'play' feature is basically an animated movie packaged into the book, lasting over 12 minutes.

Once you are in the reading mode of the book, the interactivity brings the story alive and adds a magical quality to the whole experience. The audio is crisp & lovely with nice, relaxing background music that makes it lovely at bedtime, although there are many games and interactive elements that could be too stimulating for some children.

The pages of the book, under Read more …

Battle With The Bugs by PicPocket Books

"Battle with the Bugs" is from the Human Body Detectives (HBD) series, created by Heather Manley, a Naturopath and mom. She designed this series to educate kids in a fun way about their bodies. In the first story, "The Lucky Escape", two sisters end up taking a detailed trip down the digestive system to find out what's wrong with their baby brother. In this title, the girls do their detective work inside the body of their little cousin, whose immune system is working hard to battle a virus. The girls take their older cousin on their journey, introducing him to their adventures inside an immune system battle.

Print versions of each of the HBD titles were released with audio CD's and Read more …

Miss Spider's Tea Party by Callaway Digital Arts, Inc.

Miss Spider's Tea Party is a book series by author David Kirk, and fans of this title on the bookshelf will want to download a copy of their favorite Miss Spider in digital form. It's really a computer animated jewel. The 'play' feature is basically a movie packaged into the book, lasting nearly 6 minutes.

Once you are in the reading mode of the book, the interactivity brings the story alive and adds a magical quality to the whole experience. The audio is crisp & lovely with nice, relaxing background music that makes it okay at bedtime, if you can keep your child away from all the games and don't find the interactive elements too stimulating.

The pages of the book version (under "Read") Read more …

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys by LITTLE BAHALIA PUBLISHING LLC

Little Bahalia Publishing's first book app, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, is a short but sweet title featuring gorgeous illustrations with polished animation and well-crafted interactive elements. Each page has a different animal featured with the proper plural term for a group of each species. From a parliament of owls to a tower of giraffes, children will enjoy learning about the unique (and often comical) names for multiple creatures of any type. Among my child's favorites was the bloat of hippopotami and the quiver of cobras.

The story is simple, but well put together with subtle alliteration and nicely paced rhyming text. Colorful and engaging illustrations come to life with a Read more …

Jackie Junko by Springy Thingy

Jackie Junko and the Old Ship Yard is an app storybook about a mischievous young boat who wants to go on a dangerous mission across the water, like his father, but runs into more trouble than he bargained for. The world they inhabit reminds me of Pixar's Cars, except everything is a boat instead of a car. It is the first in a planned series of Jackie Junkie app-stories and it is iPad only.

What I like:

* The graphics are very, very good and unique. They are bright and colorful and give the feeling of interacting with a cartoon. Each page has water at the bottom so the reader can see what is happening under the boats. There are different fish and sea creatures, including my personal Read more …

Wince - Don't Feed The WorryBug (Full Version) by iMagine machine LLC

This book app, reviewed in print with 5-stars by Amazon.com customers, is a delightful way to introduce complex concepts to children about complex emotions like anxiety and obsessive worrying. As a digital app it provides a unique experience, with light enhancements that are nicely tailored to the narrative.~ Carisa

iMagine Machine is delighted to announce its first book app created in collaboration with , Wince-Don’t Feed the WorryBug. Written and illustrated by Andi Green, WorryWoos is a series of books and toys created especially to promote emotional wellness in children.  Winning awards, accolades and praise, Worry Woos have found their way into the hearts of parents and Read more …

Leo the Lightning Bug by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

This is a charming story about a little lightning bug who is having a hard time finding his light. He is very frustrated, like any child wanting to do something grown up. His mother encourages Leo to be patient and feel good about himself, but he still struggles. No matter what he does, he just can't seem to light up. But despite teasing & feeling discouraged, the little bug keeps practicing, becoming triumphant one night during a thunder storm. In the end Leo discovers he has a bright, beautiful light (and that he is very brave).

This book was published in print in 2001 and has over a dozen 5 star reviews on Amazon.com that glow about the heart-warming story by Eric Drachman. It is Read more …

Ladybug at Orchard Avenue - Smithsonian's Backyard by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Ladybug at Orchard Avenue is a lovely little title from Oceanhouse Media's Smithsonian Collection - a series based on popular non-fiction print titles about the natural world. The print version of this title was released in 2009 along with an audio cassette, revising an older Soundprints title from 1996. As an OM book published for mobile devices in 2012, this title sparkles, giving enormous value over its print counterpart, including narrated text that highlights as read.

This book series fills a great need for digital book apps with non-fiction educational content. The books selected so far have been well vetted as print titles, making it easy as parents 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 …

Quigley the Caterpillar by Nation9, Inc.

Quigley the Caterpillar is an ebook whose appeal lies in its winning story rather than flashy animations, sound effects or games. Author Erin Turnley's story and Pamela Goodman's illustrations are beautifully brought to life as an app by Nation9, an artist's collective. It's a simple story with a positive message which parents will enjoy sharing with their children.

The star of the story is of course Quigley, a nice green caterpillar with 100 legs. He does what caterpillars mostly do - eat leaves. One day Quigley encounters a butterfly and is bewitched by her beauty and grace. Apparently no one had "the talk" with Quigley as he has no idea what changes await him. 

Unable to let go of Read more …

Giggly Spider by B.H.E. Peels

This short, sweet digital title is not narrated but features beautiful illustrations and just the right touch of animation and interactivity for toddlers and preschoolers. Each page has an engaging image of an animal, insect or bird and then a second page with that creature's home (or bed). The interactivity is simple but delightful, from helping a spider create its web to splattering a pig with mud. In the end, the reader pulls the covers over a sleeping child, a perfect way to set the mood for bedtime.

As a digital title this app doesn't have a lot of settings, just arrow page turning and a way to reset the book at the end. A page guide and home button would be nice additions, but for Read more …

Laloo the Red Panda by Laloo LLChttp://laloo.us/

An adorable little red panda cub who loves bugs stars in this story, which includes lots of action and suspense as little Laloo gets trapped by a poacher and then makes friends (including many new bugs) on his long journey home. Many insect species are also highlighted in the story, along with great information about the culture and natural environment of East Asia. Subtle but engaging interactive elements are well-crafted, although hints for some of them would be a nice addition.

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens, or shining-cat), is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China, with fewer than 10,000 adults of the Read more …

Treetop Ted by Bronwyn Callander

"Treetop Ted, Treetop Ted, what's that thing on top of your head?" begins this cute title. Featuring light animation and interactivity, Treetop Ted will enchant young readers and listeners with its lovely pacing and fun rhymes. The bright, colorful illustrations are simple but engaging in a way that makes this book perfect for the under six set.

Ted is a green stick figure with a branched "tree-top" head ... but he can get no peace, not even a minute to enjoy his tea. Bugs in all shapes, sizes and noises make a home on his head, annoying poor Ted and making him feel "itchy, twitchy, scritchy, scratchy." These fun words are great for teaching about onomatopoeia, or words that mimic real 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 …

Harry the Huntsman by Wivern Digital Limited

This original story from Addison's Tales, the newly launched digital book label from Wivern Digital, presents a charming tale written and narrated by C E Addison. Readers first meet Charlie, a young boy who is having trouble sleeping, and his new friend, a spider named Harry. This is a long title, with a quirky adventure involving a pair of talking mosquitos known as the Blood Brothers, unfolding over the course of over 70 pages. About half the pages contain small illustrations, making this app most similar to a chapter book with a fluent reading level of around 4th-6th grade (age 10-12 in the US).

As a digital title, this app is well made with ample features for navigation, like Read more …

Felicity Fly in the Garden by Poems and Pictures Ltd

This adorable digital book is about a fly named Felicity who meets many other bugs in the garden, exploring a variety of different colors in the flowers and insects she meets. The insect friends are also intended to be diverse to represent different cultures. There are five characters besides Felicity, including an "American Bumblebee, Indian Butterfly, Jamaican Butterfly, Liverpudlian Beetle, Lancastrian Ladybird". According to the developer:

"The story is narrated with different accents; this helps children to understand that people do have differences in speech and not just in appearance. It's all about encouraging reading and introducing more fun from an early age. There is also a Read more …

Archie And The Mysterious Sphere by Antletics

Archie And The Mysterious Sphere is a storybook app about an ant that tries to investigate a flying object he sees outside his window one day. The book follows the little ant (who actually has only 4 limbs) on his adventure. This book is the 1st in a series of books about Archie. It has several small animations and fun sound effects. Archie goes into a dangerous land to find the mysterious 'orb' and then investigates the object. The ending is a surprise - see the synopsis for the full story.

This ebook has some fun interactive elements and a nice 'magic wand' in the settings for hints on each page about which items to tap. There are cool spiders that bounce, images that change color with a 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 …


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