Steam Train, Dream Train app review


Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site fame, chug along with the digital book app edition of their goodnight-train picture book Steam Train, Dream Train (Oceanhouse Media, February 2015). Just as with the Construction Site digital book app, this one includes soothing narration that can be turned on or off; you can […]

Billy’s Booger app review

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The Billy’s Booger storybook app (Moonbot Studios, June 2015) begins with an introduction, straight from the front flap of Billy’s Booger: A Memoir (Sorta) (Atheneum, also released in June): “This is Billy…one day Billy entered a contest. He made a book. About Me!” The “me” in question? A little green guy in a superhero cape […]

Toca Band app review

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Having just experienced the sheer bizarre joy that is Toca Band (Toca Boca, 2012), I fear it may be impossible to express exactly why this app is so much fun. But I will try. Oh, I will try. The setting is simple: we are in a park. A large, boldly-hued stage with three tiers is […]

The Bedsby Tales app review

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Tales from the Crypt fans who’ve been dying to introduce the next generation to episodic horror will be all over The Bedsby Tales (Jacob Duane Johnson, March 2015), a series of short stories for middle graders with some interactive elements. “Episode 1: Thoughts of Unknown” begins with a dubious welcome from a shadowy-creature storyteller in […]

Motion Math: Cupcake! app review

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I am not a math person. But I am a cupcake person, so math about making and selling cupcakes is far more appealing. Motion Math: Cupcake! (Motion Math, April 2015) allowed me to enact my cupcake-bakery (cupcakery?) daydreams. As the app opens, you set up shop with a one-oven bakery facility, a cute sea-green Vespa […]

Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland app review

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She’s grown taller and shorter so many times that it’s hard to keep track, but Lewis Carroll’s Alice is 150 years old this year. The Morgan Library & Museum is celebrating with an exhibit of artifacts related to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In addition to an online version, the Morgan also offers an app with […]

The Cat in the Hat — Read & Learn digital book app review


Spend a rainy afternoon with the mischievous Cat in the Hat in Oceanhouse Media‘s brand-new interactive digital book app The Cat in the Hat — Read & Learn (July 2015). After you leave the home screen in “read to me” mode (there’s also a “read it myself” option for reading practice), the energetic narration begins […]

Apps for learning and fun

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In these apps for preschool and primary users, interactivity adds an extra-engaging aspect to learning new concepts. The cute monsters from Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers are back to teach basic Spanish vocabulary in Endless Spanish. A sight word beginning with each letter appears on the screen and is pronounced by the narrator, […]

Whack-a-Word app review

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Practice turning letters into words with Whack-a-Word (Reading Horizons, 2013). The setting: a garden with a row of carrots in front and a spate of moles popping up, whack-a-mole style, behind them, each holding a placard with a letter. Your mission: to tap the moles holding the letters you need to spell words, and thus […]

Tiny Hands Raccoon Treehouse app review

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As the TinyHands Raccoon Treehouse app (TinyHands, 2013) opens, you’re greeted by a raccoon, gently bobbing in the air, balloons attached to his suspenders. Hit the “play” button and you’re brought down to the base of a tree (past tunnels and living quarters burrowed into the trunk) where there are a number of games to […]