You Are Stardust app review

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You Are Stardust (December 2012), Owlkids’s app adaptation of Elin Kelsey’s book of the same name, is a prime example of how digital application technology can vitalize what was otherwise a mediocre book. Its transparent message of interconnectivity is illustrated through numerous parallels made between the reader and the natural world. For instance, “The water […]

Eleanor’s Secret app review

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Eleanor’s Secret (2011), adapted by French developer Chocolapps (formerly So Ouat) from an animated film of the same name, is an engaging story about the power of story itself. When elderly Eleanor dies, she leaves her home to their Nathaniel’s family and a Russian doll to his sister Angelica. Nathaniel, to whom Eleanor used to […]

Even Monsters Get Sick app review

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Harry’s got a new pet monster named Zub, and it only cost him three stickers, two sticks of gum, and one skateboard. Problem is, it seems like a bad trade: all Zub does is sit around, gurgle, and drip green goo everywhere. It’s not until after Zub sneezes that Harry realizes his monster isn’t lazy […]

Little Red Riding Hood app review

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All signs point to happily-ever-after in this interactive picture book app of the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood (Nosy Crow, April 2013). Vibrant, cheery colors set a lighthearted tone for wide-eyed and well-freckled Red’s familiar adventure through the woods to Grandma’s house. Unlike other, more gruesome renditions which often include an ax-wielding woodsman, […]

Hansel & Gretel app review

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Epic Tales’s Hansel & Gretel (2012) revisits the well-known fairy tale with tongue firmly in cheek. An affable bookseller/storyteller named Silvertongue narrates the story of an impoverished woodcutter, his shrewish wife, and their two children. The plot contains several differences from more traditional versions of the story: Tiny, bad-tempered gnomes are ubiquitous in the illustrations and […]

Mitzi’s World app review

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Auryn Inc.’s seek-and-find interactive storybook app Mitzi’s World: Seek and Discover More Than 150 Details in 15 Works of Folk Art (2012), based on Deborah Raffin’s book of the same name, features a selection of “neo-naive” oil paintings by prominent folk-artist Jane Wooster Scott. Spanning the four seasons, each painting depicts a scene inspired by […]

Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day app review

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Sleepy Mole and his teddy bear need a new place to rest because construction workers have intruded upon their burrow, making it too bright and too noisy to sleep. And so begins the choose-your-own-adventure storybook app Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day (Ginger Whale, 2011). On his quest to secure a quiet abode, Sleepy Mole encounters an […]

Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night app review

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Beautiful nonfiction app Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night (Bookerella and Story Worldwide, 2012) introduces primary and intermediate users to the world’s only flying mammal. Author Mary Kay Carson — whose many nonfiction print books for children include 2010 Scientists in the Field title The Bat Scientists — presents accessible information in seven brief chapters […]

Dragon Brush app review

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“Quite a long time ago, in a small village in ancient China, there lived a boy named Bing-Wen.” So begins Dragon Brush (Small Planet Digital, 2012), an interactive picture book app created by John Solimine and Andy Hullinger. Based on a Chinese folktale (no sources are given), the story follows a young rabbit artist, Bing-Wen, […]

The Legend of Momotaro app review

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In Ghost Hand Games’ app The Legend of Momotaro (November 2012), Corey Finkle retells a well-known Japanese legend of a boy who emerges from a huge peach to be adopted by a childless couple. Momotaro exhibits exceptional strength and wisdom for his age very early on. When Momotaro is a teenager, he learns of oni, […]