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Pili Pop: Español app review

In Pili Pop Labs‘ immersive language-learning apps, you play a cute alien creature who has just landed on Earth and needs to acquire human language — fast. I gave Pili Pop: Español (2015; iOS and Android) a try to brush up on my (rusty) Spanish. Vocabulary (numbers, clothing, animals, fruits, body parts, etc.) is presented […]

Care for Our World app review

Care for Our World (Sunbreak Games, March 2017; iOS only), the app based on a 2012 picture book written by Karen Robbins and illustrated by Alexandra Ball (Compendium Inc.), seeks “to inspire children to care for the earth they call home: a timely reminder of the responsibility every generation shares to nurture and respect life […]

Fiete Choice app review

Fiete Choice (Ahoiii, 2015; iOS and Android), an app that challenges users to find the dissimilar object in a group. The app opens to a cast of puzzled-looking characters and friendly accordion music beckoning you to play. Sailor Fiete, your traveling companion, waits on an island, unable to proceed to the next island until you […]

Homes app review

Tinybop’s Homes (Explorer’s Library No. 3, 2014; iOS only) allows children to explore living spaces in four different countries — Mongolia, Yemen, the United States, and Guatemala — while also getting an introduction to some of these countries’ cultural markers such as language, food, and music. The app opens on a world map with four […]

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival app review

In Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival (Move On Pluto, January 2017; iOS only), a bespectacled boy named Max wakes up to discover that his dog, Percival, is missing. He enlists the aid of his adventurous friend, Meredith, to search for Percival. Meredith, dressed in a Robin Hood cloak and cap and carrying a […]

Sound Rebound app review

“Sound Rebound is an offbeat experience of color and sound that invites you to create ricochets, bounces, or bumps to investigate seeing and hearing. Imagine yourself inside a fluid world of 2-D shapes and design. What does it look and sound like? That’s up to you,” writes the Exploratorium of its newest app release (November 2016; iOS […]

Creature-feature apps

These preschool-oriented apps invite young users to explore and learn with new furry (and feathered and…googly-eyed?) friends. Little Kitten opens with a brief (and optional) wordless video introducing our hero, a gray tabby kitten. Following this intro, the kitten — now in a loving home and christened “Crumbs” — plays in the child-owner’s bedroom. In […]

The King’s Ears app review

Based on Katarina Jovanovic’s 2008 picture book The King Has Goat Ears, illustrated by Phillipe Béhà (Tradewinds Books), The King’s Ears app (Rascal Media, 2016; iOS only) adds music, movement, and interaction to this retelling of a Serbian folktale. Tap your way through the story (which you can choose to have read aloud to you, […]

Pet Bingo app review

I wish I had had Pet Bingo (Duck Duck Moose/Khan Academy, 2015; iOS and Android) when I was in elementary school. It combines one of my favorite things, pets, with one of my least favorite things, the necessary evil that is math, for math practice that is actually kinda…fun. (Here’s another math app I like […]

Busy Shapes app review

Busy Shapes (Edoki Academy, 2014; iOS only) is an engaging sorting and problem-solving app based on the work of education expert Jean Piaget. The app begins with a simple matching exercise: drag a shape to the same-shaped hole and drop it in. These brightly colored shapes represent physical objects such as blocks, sponges, flowers, and […]