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 […]

Ansel + Clair: American Bowl app review

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Ansel + Clair: American Bowl (Cognitive Kid, 2013) brings together American history…and virtual bowling. In other Ansel + Clair apps, Ansel (an alien) and Clair (a flying robot) travel through time and space learning about Earth’s different places and eras. In American Bowl, the space duo needs your help to free fifty bald eagles from […]

BeBop Blox app review

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Toddlers meet Tetris in the puzzle-based app BeBop Blox (Originator, formerly Callaway Digital Arts, 2013). On the main screen, viewers find twelve blocks (three rows of four), jauntily wiggling to some simple jazzy background music. The squares are designed to look like classic wooden block toys painted in pastel hues and with center cut-outs of […]

52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane app review

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It’s school vacation week here in Boston — which always makes me think about taking trips. The app 52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane (Oceanhouse Media and Chronicle Books, 2013), created by Lynn Gordon with illustrations by Susan Synarski and Karen Johnson, will come in handy for parents looking for activities to occupy […]

Endless Reader app review

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From Originator (formerly Callaway Digital Arts), developer of the fantastic Endless Alphabet, comes Endless Reader (November 2013). Endless Reader closely follows the format and style of the previous app. A narrator speaks a sight word — such as all, eat, on, up, or you — as it appears in lowercase letters on the screen. A […]

The Poetry App review

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The Poetry App (Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation, 2012) may not be specifically geared toward kids, but I think it has a lot to offer younger users. First and foremost, the app presents over one hundred classic poems from sixteen of the world’s greatest poets — including W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, […]

The New Kid on the Block app review

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National Poetry Month is upon us, and this week’s app review comes from renowned children’s poet Jack Prelutsky. The New Kid on the Block (Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, 2013), an interactive poetry app based on Prelutsky’s book of the same name (HarperCollins, 1984), features eighteen poems, a cast of strangely delightful characters, and exuberant animations. From […]