Teachers With Apps scoured our reviews and picked some of the BEST Children’s Book Apps Ever! We know we missed a few… so if you have a book app you love, please add it to the comments below.
The Three Little Pigs by Nosy Crow was and is groundbreaking. The project spanned nine months from start to finish. Every possible detail has been taken into consideration and it is spectacular! The narrator is the 11 year old actress, Freya Wilson, who starred in The King’s Speech. Ed Bryan, Nosy Crow’s Head of App Development-Creative, is the illustrator as well as animator. He states that illustrating everything, and knowing it was going to be animated, was his biggest creative challenge. According to Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow, “We’ve created a new way for children to learn to explore and read stories. The Three Little Pigs app is fun, surprising, educational and worth reading again and again.”
We LOVE everything about The Going to Bed Book, by Sandra Boynton and Loud Crow! With it’s calming, gentle rhythm, it is the perfect ebook for tucking little ones in. The delivery is poetic and the illustrations are adorable, (what else would you expect from a Sandra Boynton book) featuring her beloved characters. The interactivity is sweet and appropriate. To compliment the text – subtle bubbles float from the tub, the moon rises and can be spun around, the hot water steams up the screen and when you pull the “down arrow” to turn the lights off, the characters begin to snore. The narration is smooth and serene, just what one might need to get that tireless toddler to settle down and fall asleep. If the British narrator doesn’t do it, the accompanying music will. Sandra Boynton comments, ”I am so smitten by Billy J. Kramer’s infinitely reassuring narration.” We were as well and are sure you will be too! Find this wonderful adaptation of the original book published in 1982 in the App Store tonight!
Little Red Riding Hood by Nosy Crow is just what we expected it to be, an exemplar educational book app in every possible way! They have thought of everything, including the choice of how long the text will appear on each page – short, medium, or long. Text highlighting is optional, as well. The story is told through a combination of text and talk bubbles, which seemed to draw the child in all the more. Of course, the illustrations and animations done by Nosy Crow are pure perfection, as always! A blue circle appears on the pages to indicate that a character wants to speak. They also provide a choice of which way to venture when you come to a fork in the path, or some other exciting action. The fork in the path gives the reader a choice of which way to lead Little Red Riding Hood to her Grandma’s, which can really switch the story up along the way.
Numberlys, by Moonbot Studios, is one app that we just can’t ignore. The movies: Metropolis, King Kong, and some Flash Gordon, are combined in a 1930′s kind of scenario and played out as an incredible children’s story, where everything is communicated through numbers because there is no alphabet. Well, not yet anyway… Keep at it and you will see the alphabet unfold before your eyes in the most amazing cinemagraphic way imaginable. Just like The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, this app is a masterpiece. Numberlys is huge in scope. It’s an adventure! A Mystery! A game! And a story! The story begins with a Germanic narrator. Written text appears while cityscapes of abysmal factories, stark black and white scenes of a dated industrial city, and workers marching in step, marching in step, and marching in step, as they work the factories production line. Cogs are turning, hammers hammering, conveyor belts moving, all with creating number after number. The opening words are: Nobody had a name. They had a number. There were no Ralphs or Pamelas. Just 27 or 6011. Everyone liked numbers. They had nice shapes. And kept things orderly. And everything added up … so life was sort of … Numberly. READ full review here
Little Fox Music Box – Kids Songs – Sing along, by Fox & Sheep. We reviewed this app and thought that the audience appeal would be for 2 and older. The first thing we said in our review was ““WOW-O-WOW!” This app not only offers songs, but a musical “play space” for each. It features adorable, detailed illustrations, high-quality music that never misses a beat and the most delightful sound effects ever experienced in an app. The animations are also top-notch and state-of-the-art, which will keep audiences engaged for hours and hours. This is an app that will have a place on your iPad, starting with the tots right through the primary grades.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by Moonbot Studios LA – This is a very, VERY cool app. The award-winning short film is now an interactive narrative experience. William Joyce’s “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”, blurs the line between picture books and animated film. Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
Bunny Fun: Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, by Auryn, is an exciting and very different concept from the remarkable author Rosemary Wells.Sing, dance, create and learn celebrating the beloved preschool song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!” This FAB app combines education and entertainment by featuring an adorable bunny singing and dancing to the song in four different languages, sporting four different attires and backdrops that coordinate with the native tongue being sung. The four languages are English, French, Spanish and Japanese.
Lola and Lucy’s Big Adventure, by Fingerprint, is an adorable doggy tale app that kids can’t seem to get enough of! Lola and Lucy leave the comforts of the Baxter home only to return realizing that they have always had an important job there. With options for both picture book or chapter book, they’ve got the reading levels covered so that it’s great fun for the whole family. These two puckish English bulldogs embark on an exciting adventure across the USA looking to find their purpose in life. Lucy is the smart one and Lola – ah well, she is just crazy! We witnessed first hand how much fun this app is, as the kids return to it again and again. They simply can’t get enough of these two endearing characters! The story also exposes children to the geography of the United Sates with an interactive map highlighting different destinations.
Millie & The Lost Key – Millie Was Here, Book 2, by Megapops, is such a darling, clever and loveable app that we decided to take a break from anything too serious and be thankful that the iPad has taken literacy and made it all the better. Our goal is to use a technology to which kids are naturally drawn to foster a love of reading, promote imaginative and inferential thinking, and help kids develop cognitive, creative, language, and motor skills. Education and language specialists have found that even the most reluctant readers are enticed to read Millie’s books. Millie & the Lost Key’s pages are a scrapbook-like collage – part photography and part cartoon, with exciting and funny forays into the unexpected with every swipe. The app has a pop-up book feel and there are different interactions throughout that add to the FUN, FUN, FUN! There are tabs to pull, flaps to lift, buttons to push, and wheels to turn, as well as several games to play. The narrator is spot on with tone and inflection, giving the story polish, panache and humor. The very best part is that this app doesn’t get old, kids want to go back to it over and over again!
Cocoons and Caterpillars: A Stella and Sam Adventure, is the latest Stella and Sam app just released by Zinc Roe. Stella and Sam apps are based on the television show and bestselling picture book series by Marie-Louise Gay and published by Groundwood Books Inc. Some may say this is not a book, but a game. Since its origins are from a published book series… and we so adore the characters, we are reviewing this under our “Just Books” category. However, this is much more than just a book, as so many books turned apps are today. Stella and Sam in the Cocoons and Caterpillars is a wonderful introduction to spring which is right around the corner. In this story the characters and their friend, Fred the dog, flit and fly about as they pretend to be delightfully different creatures emerging from cocoons. Children can benefit from the modeling that Stella, Sam and Fred demonstrate as they use their imaginations to have a fabulously fun time! This is one story all parents are going to want to share with their children, as well as any teacher gearing up for some spring science or who just wants to promote free thinking and play.
Wince – Don’t Feed The WorryBug, byiMaginemachine, written and illustrated by Andi Green, is an outstanding storybook app. Worrying is an ultra-important theme and very apropos topic for today’s world. The WorryWoos is a new series of books and toys created especially to promote emotional wellness in children. Wince is appealing to a broad range of ages and each individual will take away something different. This issue has yet to be addressed in any apps for children, up until now. Wince’s journey of self-awareness helps him overcome his worries and banish the WorryBug. He’s a character that will inspire anyone who’s ever had a worry no matter how old they are.
12. Wee You-Things
Wee You-Things, by Wee Society LLC, is exactly the kind of book we need to read to our children to help instill 21st century character traits of acceptance. This HAPPY interactive book encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the differences in people. We were so delighted when we came across this app! Every element in this simple read is stunning and the message so poignant. This company has a darling line of toys and prints to adorn your tots room. We believe in happy design. We’re especially drawn to the impact and beauty of simple, modern graphic shapes and bold colors. We imagine these pieces would be equally happy in spaces for kids or adults. After a bit of research, we found who was behind this unique style and who inspired them. Jill Robertson, Jason Schulte and Rob Alexander are co-founders of the new kids’ brand Wee Society. Their splendid graphics and insightful message are combined with the insanely great storytelling technologies of the iPad, making this an app you won’t want to miss.