Endless Reader app review

endless reader menu

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

poetry app dickinson

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

new kid on the block cover

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 […]

Reading Rainbow app review

reading rainbow friends and family

The Emmy and Peabody–award winning Reading Rainbow, hosted by LeVar Burton, ran for twenty-three years on PBS. Now young readers can explore the Reading Rainbow app (RRKidz, 2012), which retains a similar style to the show complete with its signature, catchy theme song: “Take a look, / it’s in a book, / a reading rainbow…” […]

Dinosaurs app review

dino_app

Many kids visit natural history museums for school field trips or just for fun. Around here it’s the Harvard Natural History Museum (home of the stunning glass flowers room and free to Massachusetts residents on Sunday mornings). Chicago has the Field Museum. And in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area kids flock to the American Museum of […]

Lazoo Zoo! app review

lazoo zoo menu

It’s always time to feed the animals at Lazoo Zoo! (2013). Move from habitat to habitat dishing out all sorts of delicious foods — from reasonable fare such as bananas and grapes to more ridiculous entrees such as burgers, birthday cake, and even a saxophone — to a motley crew of eleven animal residents. The […]

Roxie’s Doors app review

roxie's doors castle

“Lift the flaps and step through doors into wonderful worlds that you can explore. Open the door to a fantasy — imagination is your key!” Welcome to Roxie’s Doors (OCG Studios and Roxie Munro, 2011), an interactive lift-the-flap search-and-find app based on author/illustrator Roxie Munro’s 2004 picture book Doors. The rhyming text (with optional narration […]

LEGO DUPLO Zoo app review

lego duplo cinema

The LEGO Group’s LEGO DUPLO Zoo app (2012) opens with a prompt for users to choose from “watch” and “play” options. In “play” mode, Giraffe and Bunny receive an airmail package addressed to Lion during their rousing game of badminton. The friends devise a plan to deliver the package to its rightful owner. They head […]

Jack and the Beanstalk app review

jack and the beanstalk dinner

The latest in Nosy Crow’s fairy-tale app series, Jack and the Beanstalk (January 2013), features all of the developer’s thoughtful design hallmarks (main text and speech bubbles narrated by child actors; intuitive, no-reading-required navigation; a wide repertoire of possible interactive responses; subtle verbal and visual interactivity prompts), but this is perhaps the most activity-driven and […]

Wee Alphas: Find Your Special Letter app review

wee alphas menu

Developer Wee Society’s alphabet app Wee Alphas: Find Your Special Letter (2012) is “designed to encourage positive interactions between preschoolers and grown-ups” in addition to supporting pre-literacy skills. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by an animal whose species and name correspond to that letter, e.g., Eli the elephant, Sidney the squirrel. The menagerie […]