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Kiko’s Thinking Time app review

kiko's thinking time title

In today’s exciting installment of “Shoshana Is Bad at Spatial Reasoning”…Kiko’s Thinking Time (Kiko Labs, 2015)! This is an app with a lot of games that help hone a lot of skills. I’m sorry, did I say “a lot?” I meant “a zillion.” Approximately. Each day, the app provides a “Daily Quest.” Complete a series […]

Zen Studio app review

zen studio menu

Edoki Academy‘s low-key app Zen Studio (November 2015), a “geometric finger painting app designed to help children relax and focus,” is probably best described as a hybrid of tangrams and coloring (colorgrams?). In the first section, you’re invited to create your own masterpiece. “Paint” with your finger with a wide array of colors on any […]

Farm2Table app review

cow in patrick's kitchen title

Low-frills app Farm2Table (Little Pickle Press, January 2016) — based on the 2013 picture book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard, illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf — gives young children a basic idea of where some of their food comes from. One morning young Patrick O’Shanahan goes downstairs for breakfast and finds a […]

Math Tales: The Jungle app review

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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

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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, August 2015) 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 time to […]

Frontier Heroes app review

frontier heroes title screen

The opening screen of Frontier Heroes (Planet H and Red Games, 2014) 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 an overview of […]