Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day app review

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Sleepy Mole and his teddy bear need a new place to rest because construction workers have intruded upon their burrow, making it too bright and too noisy to sleep. And so begins the choose-your-own-adventure storybook app Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day (Ginger Whale, 2011). On his quest to secure a quiet abode, Sleepy Mole encounters an […]

Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night app review

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Beautiful nonfiction app Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night (Bookerella and Story Worldwide, 2012) introduces primary and intermediate users to the world’s only flying mammal. Author Mary Kay Carson — whose many nonfiction print books for children include 2010 Scientists in the Field title The Bat Scientists — presents accessible information in seven brief chapters […]

Dragon Brush app review

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“Quite a long time ago, in a small village in ancient China, there lived a boy named Bing-Wen.” So begins Dragon Brush (Small Planet Digital, 2012), an interactive picture book app created by John Solimine and Andy Hullinger. Based on a Chinese folktale (no sources are given), the story follows a young rabbit artist, Bing-Wen, […]

The Legend of Momotaro app review

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In Ghost Hand Games’ app The Legend of Momotaro (November 2012), Corey Finkle retells a well-known Japanese legend of a boy who emerges from a huge peach to be adopted by a childless couple. Momotaro exhibits exceptional strength and wisdom for his age very early on. When Momotaro is a teenager, he learns of oni, […]

Mr. Sandman: Fear of the Dark app review

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]