Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim by Stew Leonards

This lightly interactive story app is based on the 2002 print title by the same name. Vetted by water safety experts, Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim is a wonderful way to teach young children about water safety. Emphasizing the need to wear a life vest, have an adult watching you and ultimately to learn to swim, this title presents drowning-prevention in a fun way that children will enjoy.

The story can get wordy (and a bit dry) but it does a nice job emphasizing the important aspects of water safety in a way children will understand. It is also accompanied by lovely water-color illustrations that bring all the duck characters to life. Wonderful extra dialogue, slight animations Read more …

Moo, Baa, La La La! - Sandra Boynton by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

Moo, Baa, La, La, La is my favorite of the Boynton book apps (at least so far). These cute books are from Loud Crow, the same developer that made The Going to Bed Book and the PopOut series. In this cute title, you can tap the characters to hear authentic animal noises. That is, except for the three pigs on the second page, who sing, "La La La". The print book, published in 1982, was also a chart topper with over one hundred 5-Star reviews at

This app has a similar style to the other Boynton book apps, with lots of touchable elements that bounce slightly like a true pop-up book (and come alive with the addition of snorts, quacks and oinks). There are also surprising touches 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 …

A Duck in New York City by Les Productions Folle Avoine

This is a animated version of the print title, published in 2007. It is based on the title hit from an audio cd of children's songs by Connie Kaldor"one of Canada’s most significant contemporary folk performers," according to Billboard Magazine. The story is a lot of fun, featuring a little duck with a big dream - to dance on Broadway.

As a digital offering, this title has a slightly different format than the typical book app, with settings to both watch a video of the story without text or have it narrated. There is also a setting to read silently. In the 'book' mode, narration is wonderful, although the 'highlighting' is actually just a line that is drawn under the Read more …

Nighty Night! HD - The bedtime story app for children by Fox and Sheep GmbH

Nighty Night! begins with, "Night falls. The moon is high. All the people are ready to sleep as they turn off the lights. But wait! Look at the farmhouse. There are still some lights on. The animals are sleepy, too. Do you want to turn off the lights?" A peaceful farm appears, where you can tap on any one of seven lit areas on the page. The next scene shows an animal still awake (with a light switch nearby). Tap the switch (each light & switch is different) and the animal settles into sleep, closing their eyes.

After all the animals have been put to bed, there is just one person still up - a little boy (and the reader). The last scene is of this little boy waving out his lit Read more …

Bizzy Bear on the Farm by Nosy Crow Limited

This original book from Nosy Crow is based on a series of print 'toddler' board books published in 2011 and features adorable illustrations by Benji Davies. Children will love assisting Bizzy as he helps out on the farm. Interactivity and character dialogue is driven by the reader, including lots of variety and room for open-ended exploration. In order for this cute cub to complete his chores, readers will need to help him by feeding the pigs, herding sheep, collecting eggs, picking apples and much more.

Although this app is no fairy tale, it does have many things in common with Nosy Crow's other two book apps (Cinderella & The Three Little Pigs). It is polished and solidly made, Read more …

Barnyard Dance - Boynton by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

Barnyard Dance is the latest Sandra Boynton board book brought to life by app developer Loud Crow Interactive of Vancouver, Canada. The book was originally written 20 years ago, and is the fourth Sandra Boynton Board Book produced by Loud Crow.  When you open the book it is just like you are flipping the pages of a board book, but with some surprises thrown in.

Before you even open the book you see it sitting on a table and you can play the instruments sitting beside it. You can opt to read it yourself or have it read by Bluegrass musician John Stey of Stookil Express.  Traditional hoedown music plays in the background and John calls out the moves as if Read more …

Fierce Grey Mouse HD by Tizio BV

Prepare yourself for one very cute mouse story. This book opens with a little grey mouse removing the word 'little' to put the word 'fierce' in its place for the title page. The letters are like cut-outs from magazine copy, giving the book a whimsical quality. The illustrations are hand-drawn and color-drenched, creating the perfect backdrop to the story. Every page is also filled with small but delightful animated elements triggered by tapping on the characters.

Little grey mouse wants to be fierce. So he lifts weights, practices pouncing and perfects his roar. Then he hides in a tree to wait for someone to scare. His good friends come by first, calling for their little mouse friend to Read more …

Wheels on the Bus HD by Duck Duck Moose

This is an adorable little app under the category 'education' although it reads right through like a musical storybook. It also features a favorite song of many young children and their parents, "the wheels on the bus (go round and round)". It is an ideal title for children under 5, even as young as one or two.

The developer, Duck Duck Moose, is known for making quality children's apps. They have several wonderfully colorful, musical and educational titles in the app store and this one is no exception. It is well made and easy enough for a small child to use themselves. The interactivity is just right for young hands to master, while the animation & sound effects are both amusing and Read more …

A Word's a Bird by Syntonie & Actialuna

A Word’s a Bird, Spring Flies By In Rhymes by French developer Syntonie, the publishing imprint of Actialuna, SAS, brings Caldecott Award-quality to the iPad. The app includes sections for April, May, and June, as well as a “take off” poem that introduces the poetry collections’ shared theme. To visit the poem for each month from the splash screen simply tap on the square with the month’s name. After doing so the reader encounters the poem for the given month as well as an accompanying animation. 

The four poems, which the reader can enjoy in English or French, remain accessible to children even while employing poetic techniques including meter, rhyme, and Read more …

Paddle Duck in Where's Carrie Cat? An Interactive Story by PaddleDuck Pty Limited

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!

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.

Old Macdonald Had a Farm Full by Bacciz by Bacciz,LLC

Old MacDonald keeps many animals, eleven in all (see synopsis for full list), in this sing-along story featuring the popular children's tune in verse. This musical app is full of interactivity that will surprise and delight youngsters. You may have "E-I-E-I-O" stuck in your head after playing, but your little ones will be all smiles.

The tune, like many children's songs, may grate on the ears of adults with the many re-playings young children adore, but it is catchy. Animations are simple, but polished movements of the images, adding a fun touch, but the real highlight of this app is the interactivity. Young readers can tap an egg to see a chick hatch, splash mud on the pigs, and even swipe 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 …

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 …

Duck, Dog & Bear Go to Africa by TaleSpring LLC

This is the story of Duck, Dog and Bear traveling in Africa where they meet new animals such as a monkey, elephant and giraffe. The story is 16 pages of single sentences written in rhyme and targeted to children two to four years old. The app is narrated on each page when a button is pushed and illustrations are manipulated by hitting the "tap" button. The app has music, but minimally. Pages can be moved forward or backward by tapping the page arrows, swiping left or right or by choosing from the page selection.

There are two ways to approach this app. The first is to view it as more of an iBook since that medium usually offers fewer features and relies more on the story as a selling Read more …

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