App Review of the Week

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

Shout Science! app review

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

Exploratorium: Sound Uncovered app review

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The Exploratorium in San Francisco is one of the (if not the) coolest hands-on science and discovery museums in the country. The Exploratorium’s app Sound Uncovered (2013) lets you experience what makes the place so great without having to hop a plane. An intro — “Hear Here” — gives an overall explanation of sound, concluding: […]

The Adventures of Captain Underpants app review

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The Adventures of Captain Underpants app (Scholastic, 2013) features an easy-to-navigate full-color digital adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s graphic novel of the same name, plus an avatar generator, a sound effects mixer, and a panoply of other mini-games based on the story. Best friends and class pranksters George and Harold create a comic book superhero, Captain […]

Kids Discover Ancient Egypt app review

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Long-running children’s nonfiction magazine Kids Discover has made an admirable jump to digital — twenty-one of their issues on natural and social sciences are currently available as apps. I took a look at the digital version of volume 11: Ancient Egypt (Joe Zeff Design, 2013). The app offers eight content chapters: “The Gift of the […]

Piccadilly’s Circus app review

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Developer Ink Robin‘s Piccadilly’s Circus (2012) is a showstopper of a storybook app. The human and animal performers of Piccadilly’s Circus are “a happy bunch who always got along (even first thing in the morning).” But the claws come out, so to speak, when ringmaster Mr. Piccadilly must take a sick day. Each performer feels […]