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Doctor Who Comic Maker app review

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As a fan of both Doctor Who and comics, how could I resist the siren song of that familiar theremin theme emanating from BBC’s official Doctor Who Comic Maker app (March 2016)? Similar to HarperCollins/Night & Day Studio’s Big Nate: Comix by U!, this app lets you write your own adventures for the Doctor and […]

Hansel and Gretel app review

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If you’re in the mood to be a little bit scared, a little bit charmed, and maybe a little bit hungry for sugary houses, the Hansel and Gretel app by Fusee (2015) might just be for you. On each page of this adaptation, you can listen to the (sometimes forced) rhyming text and follow along; […]

Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app review

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Potty training is the worst. Mr. Rogers is the best. PBS Kids’s animated television show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood — which, per the Fred Rogers Company “builds on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” — has a new potty-training app, Stop & Go Potty (February 2016), starring the Daniel Tiger characters. The home screen features Daniel […]

Sago Mini Robot Party app review

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“This is a partying robot with a sock hand, ’cause I gave it a sock hand,” I told Katie. “Do what you gotta do,” she replied. I was in the mood to give my robot a sock hand, so a sock hand he had. And yes, a sock hand can make cupcakes. On the off-chance […]

Lil’ Red: An Interactive Story app review

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What’s black and white and red all over? Lil’ Red: An Interactive Story (2013), Brian Main’s savvy digital retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.” This light version of the fairy tale more or less follows the traditional trajectory but minimizes scariness. Naive Lil’ Red sets out through the woods for her grandmother’s, meets a hungry […]

iLearnWith Max & Ruby: Science! app review

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iLearnWith Max & Ruby: Science! (Tribal Nova, 2013) features the beloved characters from Rosemary Wells’s books and TV show playing backyard games to illustrate some basic scientific concepts. As the app opens, Max and Ruby stand in front of three game options: “Water Blast,” “Ball-O-Rama,” and “Make Believe.” Just tap the game you’d like to […]

Empire Run app review

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The setup of Empire Run (Planet H/Red Games, 2014) is similar to another Planet H/Red Games app, Frontier Heroes (and with the same caveat about some arguably stereotypical images; see details below) several sections, themed by historical time period, each contain a few games; each game has a number of different levels which allow the […]

MarcoPolo Ocean app review

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MarcoPolo Ocean (MarcoPolo, 2014) — in the same series as MarcoPolo Arctic — introduces young children to an ocean biome. A blue sea with gentle waves appears on the main screen as vaguely Caribbean-sounding background music plays. Before beginning, you can orient yourself by investigating underwater, looking at some fish, bobbing the buoy, etc. The […]

Kiko’s Thinking Time app review

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In today’s exciting installment of “Shoshana Is Bad at Spatial Reasoning”…Kiko’s Thinking Time (Kiko Labs, 2015)! This is an app with a lot of games that help hone a lot of skills. I’m sorry, did I say “a lot?” I meant “a zillion.” Approximately. Each day, the app provides a “Daily Quest.” Complete a series […]

Zen Studio app review

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Edoki Academy‘s low-key app Zen Studio (November 2015), a “geometric finger painting app designed to help children relax and focus,” is probably best described as a hybrid of tangrams and coloring (colorgrams?). In the first section, you’re invited to create your own masterpiece. “Paint” with your finger with a wide array of colors on any […]