Ellison The Elephant by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

"He was a young and little elephant, but not a baby elephant," begins this inspirational picture book, now available in digital from Oceanhouse Media. Based on the popular 2005 print title by Eric Drachman, Ellison the Elephant is the kind of storybook that has all the trappings of an instant classic. It's about an elephant named Ellison, who is having trouble finding his trumpet song. All he can manage is a little 'toot'.

Of course, not only does little Ellison find his voice, but he also discovers that he is actually special, not 'less than' the other elephants. This is the real genius of Drachman stories, like Leo the Lightning Bug & A Frog Thing; they emphasize the ways in Read more …

Elmer and the Lost Teddy by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Elmer and the Lost Teddy is about Elmer, an elephant with a multi-colored patchwork instead of the usual grey. This book, one in a series of print books that first began in 1989, is a delightful title that encourages being helpful. This book was published in print in 2005 and features illustrations that are drenched in rich colors.

The story follows Elmer as he tries to find Baby Elephant's lost teddy bear. Without his Teddy, baby elephant can't sleep, so Elmer lends him his own patchwork teddy while he searches for the lost bear. Soon Elmer finds Teddy in the bushes nearby and restores the bear to its grateful owner.

This digital offering is well made with simple, intuitive Read more …

Elmer and Rose by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

In this title, Elmer is joined by several other 'unique' elephants, including Rose, an elephant who is pink from blushing, instead of the usual grey. This book, one in a series of print books that first began in 1989, is a delightful title in the Elmer series, about a patchwork elephant. This book was published in print in 2005 & features illustrations that are drenched in rich colors.

The story follows Elmer as he tries to find the shy pink elephant after she has wandered away from the herd. Along with his checker-board-colored cousin, Elmer helps little rose find her family. Along the way they meet a grey elephant from another herd and Rose remarks that he looks 'strange'. When Read more …

Auracle - Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose - HD by Auryn, Inc

"Tail, Toes, Eyes, Ears, Nose," repeats this app that is less of a storybook and more of an educational app based on a print title. Animals from an elephant to a bird (and even a human) are shown with just their body parts. After naming each part, readers can see the whole animal emerge.

This app is based on an out-of-print book published in 1992 and is great for toddlers & preschoolers. The reinforcement of all the body parts is 'spot on' for this age group's developmental needs. It also does a great job engaging the very short attention span of children under 5, although this also means this app is a bit light on content, lasting barely 3 minutes on autoplay.

As a print title, this Read more …

Horton Hatches the Egg - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Horton Hatches the Egg makes a great transition from print to digital, with the beautiful sketches from Dr. Seuss's 1940 title coming to life despite the limited color palate of this title (it uses only two colors, common to early picture books where every color added great cost to printing). This title came before the more famous 1954 edition, Horton Hears a Who!, and both titles served as inspiration for the musical Seussical, which premiered in 2000.

Many readers will be more familiar with the later story of Horton and the bird Mayzie, involving a whole world of little 'whos' but this title is a great 'prequel'. Many kids today will also have seen the popular 2008 movie version Read more …

The Hippo, the Rhino, the Elephant and Me by Ink Robin, Inc

Ink Robin is one of my favorite eBook publishers around!  Their stories are so rich with great characters, wonderful illustrations and quite funny.  They have recently launchedThe Hippo, the Rhino, the Elephant and Me which is an interactive story set in rhyme about a little girl.  She has three rather large friends (a hippo, a rhino and an elephant) and the story takes us along for a journey in the day in the life of these four friends over the course of a week. It’s illustrated by a British artist (Lisa Hunt) and narrated by Julie Hill who also narrated their first app, Will & Kate.

I love the little girl with 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.


This app has been thoroughly Read more …

Achoo Gaboo by Pixure Book Publishing LLC

Achoo Gaboo is a lovely offering from Pixure Book Publishing, featuring a cute elephant named Gaboo. Everyone says 'bless you' often to Gaboo because he can't stop sneezing. Eventually he discovers a simple (and delicious) solution to his problem. As a digital offering, this title is beautifully paced with well-chunked text for its target audience of 2-5 year olds. It has all the hallmarks of a classic picture book alongside thoughtful enhancements.

Light animation, delightful interactive sounds and polished graphics round out this app in a way that will enchant young readers. While it doesn't offer highlighting of the words as read, the narration is nicely done. With play Read more …

Kiwaka Story by Landkae, Lda

We begin our story in Kiwaka, isolated deep in the African jungle, where we meet four fantastical animal friends:

  • A brightly colored toucan, Tuka
  • A slithery, sly snake, Shaka
  • A pink elephant, Kudi
  • A bright, blue crocodile, Kwilu

The four made up an unlikely group of friends who loved to spend nights stargazing together. The friends knew that the stars in the sky formed constellations, but they didn’t know much about them and they wanted to learn more. Tuka remembered a legend that fireflies carried the light of the stars…maybe the fireflies in Kiwaka could tell the friends more.

Sure enough, the fireflies were able to share stories with the group of friends and begin to 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 …