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App Review of the Week

Each week we publish a review of a new app people are — or should be — talking about.
We are always on the lookout for great kids’ apps and e-books to recommend to our readers. If you would like to submit an app or e-book for review consideration, please send an iOS promo code with all release information (developer, price, release date, supported devices, etc.) to kbircher (at) hbook.com. Please keep in mind that a submission does not guarantee review.

Tiggly Addventure app review

Tiggly Addventure (Tiggly, 2014; iOS and Android) is one of a series of educational apps which can be played alone or with the corresponding Tiggly-brand counting, letter, or shape toys. To begin, choose your goal: you’re either delivering an apple to a grandmotherly creature, or a wrapped gift to a monsterly peer. You play as […]

Dotopedia app review

Dot — star of the CBC animated TV series of the same name — is ready to guide you through a virtual encyclopedia experience in Dotopedia (CBC, January 2017, iOS and Android). The home screen is designed like a website with a search bar at the top, a featured article front and center, and buttons […]

The Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds app review

The Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds (IAMYANK/Possible, 2015; iOS and Android) is a companion app to the ambient album Lost Sounds by artist IAMYANK. This adventure follows its hero’s journey through a brilliantly rendered, dreamlike world influenced heavily by sound (appropriately, given its musical provenance). The journey begins at “Poco’s Island.” The opening sequence […]

So Many Butts! app review

Having just co-written (with my Family Reading blog co-parent Kitty Flynn) the article “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor, how could I pass up the So Many Butts! app? (Editora Caixote, January 2017; iOS and Android) I went in with some trepidation, expecting Everyone Poops–level […]

How to Make Electricity (Lite) app review

How to Make Electricity (Crayon Box, 2015; iOS only) invites you to experiment with various objects to explore how electricity works. The app offers four “labs” covering different electricity-related topics: “Battery,” “Hydroelectric Generator,” “Thermal Power Generator,” and “Solar Panel.” Battery is available for free in the “Lite” version; the full version with all four labs […]

Home Boov Pop! Puzzle Adventure app review

Home is the 3D animated film adaptation (DreamWorks Animation, March 2015; PG) of Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday. Shoshana and I went to see it in theaters and I loved it. I loved it very much. Home Boov Pop! Puzzle Adventure (DreamWorks Animation SKG/Behaviour Interactive, 2015; iOS and Android) is a movie tie-in […]

Teach Your Monster to Read app review

I’m officially smitten with the Usborne Foundation’s phonics and reading game Teach Your Monster to Read (Teach Monster Games Ltd., 2014; iOS, Android, and desktop). Designed in collaboration with leading academics at the U.K.’s University of Roehampton to cover the first two years of literacy learning, this app serves as a nice complement to any […]

How Many Saturdays? app review

What if we measured our lives in units other than hours, days, months, and years? Would life “feel shorter? Longer? More absurd? More precious?” The Exploratorium‘s app How Many Saturdays? (2015; iOS only) considers this idea by comparing the number of Saturdays in one’s lifespan to other, less common measurements of time. After a brief […]

Reflex app review

In addition to hearing the Duran Duran song in my head, I know Reflex (ExploreLearning, iPad app released 2014; iOS and desktop) as a program that my child’s teacher uses to supplement the class’s math curriculum…and with which my kid is obsessed. While it’s geared toward classroom use (and homeschooling), we play it happily on […]

Fiete Hide and Seek app review

Friendly sailor Fiete invites you to play a favorite childhood game in Fiete Hide and Seek (Ahoiii, April 2017; iOS only). Tap on rocks and plants in a range of landscapes to look for Fiete behind them. If you’re stumped, tap the dog icon at bottom right to whistle for a pup who will help […]