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Math Tales: The Jungle app review

jungle title

Marshmallow Games‘s Math Tales: The Jungle app (March 2016) opens with upbeat, Caribbean-style music and happy jungle animals poking their heads out of greenery to greet the player. Once the pulsing, yellow “play” button is pressed, the player is brought to the first page of a story: “On a sunny day, the king of the […]

The Weather app review


Tinybop‘s new app The Weather (number 6 in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library; February 2016) doesn’t give you any directions or tutorial to start. None. The home screen is a simple yet elegantly animated landscape with a few scattered houses, situated beside a sea. A pull-out sidebar menu provides four buttons, each showing a different general weather […]

The Newbery App review

newbery app menu

The Newbery App (Sugar Coded Apps, 2011) is a handy resource if you’re interested in Newbery history, keeping track of which Medalists and Honor Books you’ve read, or choosing the next one to read. It’s also a fun place to test your skills. The landing page contains the enticing phrase, “Suggest a Book to Me.” […]

Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery app review

ripped apart title screen

As Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery (Smithsonian, 2015) opens, it’s your first day as an intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. After curator Isabella Wagner introduces you to the museum and the task at hand, you head down to the creepy basement — alone — to get to work. Your job […]

MarcoPolo Recall app review

marcopolo recall

Kids these days, with their Minecraft and their interwebs. Not too long ago, Simon was the cutting edge of electronic gaming (and no one considered it educational*). Now MarcoPolo app Recall (January 2016) brings players a similar Simon experience. Four horizontal color bars — pink, sky-blue, orange, and green — appear on the screen. A […]

LumiKids Backyard app review

lumikids backyard title screen

LumiKids Backyard (Lumosity Labs, 2015; iOS and Android) presents a variety of games set on an apparently warm evening with a purplish sky. (We’ve had negative-forty wind chills in Boston within the past week. Color me interested in this setting.) The app alternates between fairly involved games and simple, tap-and-make-something-happen activities. It took me some […]

Frontier Heroes app review

frontier heroes title screen

The opening screen of Frontier Heroes (Planet H and Red Games, 2014; iOS and Android) depicts five cartoonish figures from early American historical eras (they look like maybe George Washington, Pocahontas, a pilgrim, possibly Daniel Boone, or maybe Lewis and Clark). Three icons on the left provide an orientation of sorts: the video icon gives […]

LumiKids Snow app review

lumikids snow title screen

It’s rainy, not snowy, in Boston right now, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to explore the winter wonderland that is LumiKids Snow (Lumosity Labs, 2015; iOS and Android). Opening the app, you’re taken to a landscape of white and icy teals, where a friendly seal waits on a small ice floe. Tap to […]

Pigment app review

pigment title screen

Coloring is cool these days. Really, coloring is cool any time. But what’s a budding artist to do on the go? If you want to color, but you don’t want to carry around all your coloring books, your colored pencils, your paint and brushes, there’s a solution: Pigment (Pixite LLC, 2015). You can start by […]

Sago Mini Music Box app review

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I’ve been singing Sago Mini’s praises for some time (see my reviews of Ocean Swimmer, Road Trip, Friends, and Fairy Tales, as well as Shoshana’s review of Monsters), and now I have musical accompaniment! Sago Mini Music Box (2014; iOS and Android) invites users to join cheerful animal characters to play three familiar tunes. First […]