Cat’s Cradle Book 1: The Golden Twine e-book review

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Earlier this year publisher Kids Can Press and developer Animanga Plus released a “motion comic” e-book version of 2012 print graphic novel Cat’s Cradle Book 1: The Golden Twine (January 2015), written and illustrated by Jo Rioux. This fantasy series-opener begins with an intriguing prologue: a young boy sent to lock up his family’s chicken […]

Snow White app review

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The latest in Nosy Crow’s series of fairy-tale adaptation apps (which includes The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk) is Snow White, released last week. Snow White employs the same winning formula of the other series entries: cheerful illustrations and animation; witty humor; well-integrated interactivity; straightforward navigation; charming […]

Spot app review

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Many of David Wiesner’s best-known books are wordless or nearly wordless. Mr. Wuffles, Flotsam, Tuesday: readers create their own narrative based on a visual experience. And that experience is unlike any other — each of Wiesner’s books is entirely unique, though each is also indelibly his. His new app, Spot (HMH/Smashing Ideas, February 2015), is […]

Fiona & the Fog e-book review

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“One foggy morning, Fiona sat on her front stoop, wondering what to do with the day. ‘I’m bored. I wish something exciting would happen…’” With that, the fog snatches up Fiona’s scarf and leads her on a chase around a city’s environs (it’s unnamed but the skyline is San Francisco’s; makes sense given the fog). […]

Metamorphabet app review

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In Metamorphabet (Vectorpark, 2015), each (uppercase) letter of the alphabet appears on a brightly colored background. Tap the featured letter to initiate its animated transformation into a short series of visual representations of words beginning with that letter: J to jiggle to juggle to jelly fish. A somewhat monotone female narrator speaks the letter’s name, […]

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs app review

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Though the American Museum of Natural History‘s Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit closed a few weeks ago, those of us who missed it can learn about these fascinating animals with the associated app (2014). The first section, “What Is a Pterosaur?,” introduces this prehistoric creature, which lived for 150 million years, going […]

Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem app review

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The little-girl and feline, respectively, stars of the animated series Peg + Cat, have a series of loosely math-related, cat-stuck-in-a-tree adventures in The Tree Problem app (PBS Kids, January 2015). First choose a location: Math-tropolis, Dino Valley, The South Pole, Broadway, The Farm, or Peg’s Backyard. (If you’re indecisive, that just gives you time to hear […]

Geography Drive Arcade app review

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Spinlight Studio’s Geography Drive Arcade app (2013) quizzes users on their United States geography knowledge in an engaging way. The app has six sections: Study Map: This streamlined map of the U.S. shows the states color-coded by region, with all fifty capitals marked and labeled. Tap each state to go in-depth, accessing a page where […]

Nighty Night! app review

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As Fox and Sheep‘s bedtime app Nighty Night! (2012) opens, the screen pans across a view of a little town. One by one the lights in houses’ windows go out, but the farmhouse’s lights still blaze. Tap them to explore inside and around the house, along the way discovering friendly animals: a duck, a hen […]

Sushi Monster app review

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Blobby, colorful monsters with insatiable appetites for sushi are the stars of entertaining — and challenging! — math-centric game-app Sushi Monster (Scholastic, 2012). Begin by selecting either Addition or Multiplication and a level (Addition has seven, Multiplication five). A gong sounds to move you on to the next screen and into the game. A hungry […]