Goodnight Safari app review

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In Goodnight Safari (2012), a cozy bedtime storybook app from Polk Street Press, users propel the narrative forward by helping wildlife from the African savanna prepare for lights out. Once basic touchscreen activities, such as reuniting a baby zebra with its mother or dunking a baby rhino in a pool of cool water for a […]

Apps for young scientists

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Budding scientists rejoice! These four nonfiction apps use cutting-edge technology, from x-ray composites to 3D imaging, to explore biology, paleontology, and archeology in educational and entertaining ways. Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night introduces users to the world’s only flying mammal. Mary Kay Carson, author of Scientists in the Field entry The Bat Scientists, presents accessible information […]

Bramble Berry Tales Book 1: The Story of Kalkalilh app review

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Loud Crow launches its Bramble Berry Tales series with the debut storybook app, The Story of Kalkalilh (August 2013) based on a myth from the oral tradition of the Squamish, indigenous people of southwestern British Columbia, Canada. During a visit with their grandparents in the Rocky Mountains, rebellious Lily gets up in the middle of […]

How to survive a heat wave

interactive art book

We’ve been having a heat wave in Boston. What better way to spend my time on those 90° days than sitting inside our AC-blasting office trying my hand at various arts and crafts activities from one of my latest Out of the Box finds — The Interactive Art Book (Insight Kids, March 2013) created by […]

World folklore and fairy tales

Nasreddine

From the depths of the jungles to Middle Eastern marketplaces to magical fairy forests, the following books span diverse settings. The stories illustrate just how effectively narrative can represent and transmit different cultures’ traditions, heritage, mythos, and history. In Odile Weulersse’s Nasreddine, Mustafa and his son Nasreddine set out for the market four times, facing […]

You Are Stardust app review

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You Are Stardust (December 2012), Owlkids’s app adaptation of Elin Kelsey’s book of the same name, is a prime example of how digital application technology can vitalize what was otherwise a mediocre book. Its transparent message of interconnectivity is illustrated through numerous parallels made between the reader and the natural world. For instance, “The water […]

The Silver Linings Play…book vs. movie

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Crossover writer Matthew Quick, author of young adult novels Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy 21, and the soon-to-be-released Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, made his debut in 2008 with The Silver Linings Playbook (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), an adult title you may have heard a little something about. It was adapted for the screen in […]

Even Monsters Get Sick app review

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Harry’s got a new pet monster named Zub, and it only cost him three stickers, two sticks of gum, and one skateboard. Problem is, it seems like a bad trade: all Zub does is sit around, gurgle, and drip green goo everywhere. It’s not until after Zub sneezes that Harry realizes his monster isn’t lazy […]

Little Red Riding Hood app review

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All signs point to happily-ever-after in this interactive picture book app of the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood (Nosy Crow, April 2013). Vibrant, cheery colors set a lighthearted tone for wide-eyed and well-freckled Red’s familiar adventure through the woods to Grandma’s house. Unlike other, more gruesome renditions which often include an ax-wielding woodsman, […]

Mitzi’s World app review

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Auryn Inc.’s seek-and-find interactive storybook app Mitzi’s World: Seek and Discover More Than 150 Details in 15 Works of Folk Art (2012), based on Deborah Raffin’s book of the same name, features a selection of “neo-naive” oil paintings by prominent folk-artist Jane Wooster Scott. Spanning the four seasons, each painting depicts a scene inspired by […]