App Review of the Week

Each week we publish a review of a new app people are--or should be--talking about.

Bill Nye the Science Guy app review

bill nye desk

2013 was an anniversary year for the live-action educational TV program Bill Nye the Science Guy. In honor of that occasion, developer Disney Education created the Bill Nye the Science Guy 20th Anniversary App. Welcome to Nye Labs, where you’ll discover on the main screen (a.k.a. Bill’s retro-looking desk) an assortment of objects that when […]

Dragons, Book 1: Flight of the Returnwing e-book review

dragons title screen

The brand-new story told in Dreamworks’ Dragons, Book 1: Flight of the Returnwing e-book (Dreamworks Press with Genera Interactive, July 2014) takes place between the 2010 How to Train Your Dragon film (based on Cressida Cowell’s intermediate novel of the same name) and the sequel released earlier this summer. The user begins by creating a […]

iRead With Curious George and the Firefighters e-book review

iRW curious george menu

iRead With Curious George and the Firefighters (Tribal Nova, 2014) presents a story based on Margret and H. A. Rey’s famous Curious George books in a format designed to help parents read aloud to children and engage them in the story. George and the Man in the Yellow Hat accompany an elementary school class on […]

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends – Play & Explore app review

very hungry caterpillar menu

Digital reproductions of beautiful watercolor-painted collages from some of Eric Carle’s most popular picture books take center stage as “3D pop-ups” in a new, colorful app, The Very Hungry CaterpillarTM & Friends – Play & Explore (StoryToys, 2014). Though this activity app for the youngest users does not contain any of Carle’s stories, readers familiar […]

Shout Science! app review

shout science menu

Shout Science! (Scott Dubois, 2013) is a comic-style nonfiction app that tells three stories of figures from the European Scientific Revolution. The first biography follows Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717), a watercolor painter and insect collector in Frankfurt, Germany. Merian observed the life cycle of butterflies, including metamorphosis, and documented it in two books she wrote […]

The Power of Poison app review

power of poison menu

Apps make great companions to museum exhibitions, serving both as supplements to enhance visitors’ experiences and as substitutes for those who can’t see exhibits in person. (We’ve reviewed several of this type of app: Color Uncovered and Sound Uncovered by the Exploratorium; Dinosaurs and Creatures of Light by the American Museum of Natural History. The […]

The Animal Book e-book review

animal book

Steve Jenkins’s 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth is available in an enhanced e-book edition (HMH, 2013). An introduction describes the book’s features: Animal Fact Pop-Up Boxes provide more information about select creatures’ sizes, […]

World War I Interactive app review

wwi interactive entry of us

World War I Interactive (2012) is part of Touchzing Media‘s interactive history app series (other entries cover the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWII, the Vietnam War, general American history, and the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi). Since my own WWI knowledge comes largely from Downton Abbey and Legends of the Fall, I […]

Ngurrara: A Ngarluma Story app review

ngurrara menu

Interactive graphic novel Ngurrara: A Ngarluma Story (written by Tyson Mowarin and illustrated by Stu Campbell; Yijala Yala/BighART, 2013) introduces users to the history of the Ngarluma, the indigenous people of the Burrup Peninsula in north western Australia, and of Murujuga, one of the world’s oldest and most extensive petroglyph sites now threatened by industry […]

KidEWords app review

kid e words menu

KidEWords (Chocolapps, 2014), an educational crossword puzzle app for kids, helps children learn words, associate images with the correct words, and improve their spelling skills. On the app’s menu page you choose the Easy, Medium, or Hard version, based on your spelling ability. Then choose a level from one to twenty (the first three in […]