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!
Little Red Riding Hood by Nosy Crow is just what we expected it to be, an exemplary 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 cinematographic way imaginable. 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 Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by Moonbot Studios – 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, 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.
Dr. Seuss Treasury by Oceanhouse Media, is the complete collection of Dr. Seuss Books which have been adapted to book apps by this wonderful company. This app contains their entire collection of Dr. Seuss Books in one handy location. This is a great collection to share the wonder of Dr. Seuss with your children, and have them grow up with these wonderful books just like you once did. These classics, with all of the infamous characters – the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, the Lorax, Sam-I-Am, and many, many more are a must have for any digital device shared with children! Parents can see their children’s reading skills improve with statistics for number of books read, hours read, pages turned, and words tapped. Each of the books contain 3 reading options: Read to Me, Read it myself, and Auto play which caters for a wide range of age groups.
Whoa! We aren’t in Kansas anymore, I say to Toby my little white dog. In David Wiesner’s SPOT, one may, like Dorothy, be transported into other lands. This immersive and wordless interactive storybook launches the reader into five incredibly detailed and beautiful worlds. The idea for the app was conceived years ago and was just a twinkle in the eye of its creator David Wiesner. Working with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s team extraordinaire once the technology could portray and transition between the worlds, the app was able to come to fruition and make full use of the iPads capabilities. Each exploration is a unique and individual experience, and that is what makes this app so exceptional. Exploration gives the different worlds a 3D effect, and they are set as far away as the stars but as close as the tip of your nose. It only takes a little curiosity and finding the seeds of a trail interconnecting the worlds to see how a world so big can become one so close and accessible.
My Caterpillar by StoryToy’s let’s you take care of your very own caterpillar until he is ready to become a beautiful butterfly! As his guardian you will feed him delicious fruit from the trees, make sure he has some fun along the way with the toys, visits duck friends in the pond, takes care of his watering chore and gets enough sleep. The user will go through the cycle of feeding, playing, visiting and completing the watering chore before the Very Hungry Caterpillar is ready to sleep. This app allows for wonderful vocabulary development used along side of an adult (ripe fruit, sleeping, playing, bouncing, popping, sailing, eating, crawling).
Grandma’s Great Gourd by Literary Safari is an enchanting story based on the Kirkus Reviews Award-winning picture book. It’s about courage and the ability to stay calm when the world spins out of control around you. A story in the great format of encountering tricksters, this folktale from Bengal, teaches about “reading” one’s environment and dealing with the here and now. The graphics are presented in a rich array of images and patterns in an active kinetic collage. Simply put, the app is gorgeous and one where you can begin to feel the beat and rhythm of the countryside of Bengal through its narration and soundtrack. The verse also contains the repetition of lines encouraging kids to shout out the known phrases. This participation helps bring them actively into the story and become part it – allowing for the emulation and ultimately imitation of admirable characteristics to arise naturally.
Wince – Don’t Feed The WorryBug, by iMaginemachine, 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 tot’s 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.