Mr. Sandman: Fear of the Dark app review

Mr. Sandman menu screen

Mr. Sandman: Fear of the Dark (August 2012), the debut storybook app from French developer Hocusbookus, is one of the most arresting examples of digital application technology I have ever seen. The combination of intricately layered backgrounds (clearly influenced by shadow puppetry aesthetics), deep nighttime colors, an eerie musical underscore, and interactive elements breathes life […]

I Need My Monster book app review

I Need My Monster menu

Working with developer Pony Tale, Flashlight Press recently released a digital adaptation of their humorous bedtime story I Need My Monster (December 2012). The print picture book, written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam, was originally published in April 2009. The young protagonist can’t fall asleep when Gabe, the monster under his bed, […]

Endless Alphabet app review

endless alphabet menu

I’m glad to see a new addition from Callaway Digital Arts, developer of the well-executed Monster at the End of This Book app. In the educational Endless Alphabet (January 2013), young users explore the alphabet, spelling, and vocabulary. Users may begin the app with any letter of the alphabet by tapping it on the root menu, […]

Pyramids 3D app review

pyramids menu

Touch Press, developers of The Elements and X is for X-Ray, present a virtual odyssey through the ancient monuments of the Giza Plateau in Pyramids 3D: Wonders of the Old Kingdom (October 2012). 3D imaging and zoom capabilities allow for 360 degree rotation and manipulation of space and objects in this informative and interactive e-book, […]

X Is for X-Ray app review

x is for x-ray menu

Touch Press, developers of such apps as The Elements and March of the Dinosaurs, presents X Is for X-Ray (2011), an interactive alphabet book designed to elucidate the ins and outs of everyday objects through x-ray photography. With a series of swipes and pinches (swipe up for natural light, down for x-ray, left and right […]

Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny e-book review

dragon, robot, gatorbunny cover

Poet Calef Brown, author and illustrator of such books as Flamingos on the Roof and We Go Together (which dropped January 15), transforms his paperback doodle book, Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny: Pick one. Draw it. Make it funny., into an imaginative and interactive e-book (Chronicle, print book published April 2012; e-book November 2012). The chimerical menagerie […]

Rounds: Parker Penguin app review

parker penguin menu

Nosy Crow’s second entry in their series of life cycle educational apps for preschoolers is Rounds: Parker Penguin.

Animal SnApp Farm app review

animal snapp dog and hen

Animal SnApp, developer Nosy Crow’s latest series of preschooler apps, kicks off with Animal SnApp: Farm (October 2012) illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Six alliteratively named barnyard denizens are introduced in a puzzle which asks users to swipe their screen and align the animals’ top and bottom halves. Correctly matching the pieces and completing an animal […]

Middle School Confidential app reviews

msc 1

The Middle School Confidential apps written by Annie Fox are graphic novel “so-real-you’ll-squeal teen adventures” from Free Spirit Publishing and developer Electric Eggplant aimed at 11-14 year olds. Each offers helpful social advice through a cast of relatable teens “just trying to figure out what middle school is all about” while coping with issues that […]

Goodnight Moon app review

goodnight moon menu

Devotees of Margaret Wise Brown’s sleepytime classic — preschoolers and their grownups alike — will welcome Loud Crow’s Goodnight Moon app (November 2012). There are just enough interactive opportunities but not too many to overwhelm young children. The app’s opening page greets users with an image of the book, as well as images of Goodnight […]