Bramble Berry Tales Book 1: The Story of Kalkalilh app review

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Loud Crow launches its Bramble Berry Tales series with the debut storybook app, The Story of Kalkalilh (August 2013) based on a myth from the oral tradition of the Squamish, indigenous people of southwestern British Columbia, Canada. During a visit with their grandparents in the Rocky Mountains, rebellious Lily gets up in the middle of […]

Ansel + Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs app review

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In a series of apps by Cognitive Kid, child stand-ins Ansel (an alien) and Clair (a flying robot) travel through time to document Earth’s history for their planet Virtoos. In Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs (Cognitive Kid, 2012), the first in a dinosaur-themed trilogy, the duo visits a present-day paleontological dig, then heads to the […]

Pigeon Presents…Mo on the Go! app review

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Pigeon Presents…Mo on the Go! (Hyperion, July 2013), Mo Willems’s second app, offers five activities populated by animated characters from his books. As in Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!, there’s lots of interactive Willems wackiness. “Leonardo’s Monster Maker” invites users to mix and match monstrous features to create a customized monster. Once completed, […]

Apps for preschool and primary users

animal snapp farm

With all the traveling summer brings, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep kids entertained in the backseat or on the plane. These interactive apps for preschool- and early elementary–aged users fit the bill nicely. Animal SnApp: Farm, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, introduces six alliteratively named barnyard denizens in a […]

The Waking Prince e-book review

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The Waking Prince (The Story Elves, March 2013) is an original fairy tale set in a kingdom where witches curse people over any grievance, no matter how small. Everyone knows that when a princess falls victim to a curses, it’s a prince’s duty to break the spell. But Prince Jeremy guiltily wonders if princes should […]

Creatures of Light app review

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Five chapters in fascinating nonfiction app Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence (2012) offer an introduction to bioluminescence. Developed by New York City’s American Museum of Natural History in conjunction with their exhibit of the same name, the app gives intermediate through adult users a working knowledge of this naturally occurring glow and a brief overview […]

Yellow, Red, Blue and If I Get Angry, Grey app review

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With no text, no narration, and not much narrative, Yellow, Red, Blue and If I Get Angry, Grey (WARE’S ME, March 2013) is perhaps not an app for everyone. However, for users willing to explore, it offers opportunities for self-directed play. The Italian developer based the app on an Italian-language book of the same name, written […]

The Skull in the Rock e-book review

skull karabo reconstruction

Danielle J. Ford reviewed Dr. Lee R. Berger and Marc Aronson‘s nonfiction title The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins (National Geographic) in the November/December 2012 Horn Book Magazine. The conversational text tells how Berger, a paleontologist, used Google Earth satellite images to […]

You Are Stardust app review

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You Are Stardust (December 2012), Owlkids’s app adaptation of Elin Kelsey’s book of the same name, is a prime example of how digital application technology can vitalize what was otherwise a mediocre book. Its transparent message of interconnectivity is illustrated through numerous parallels made between the reader and the natural world. For instance, “The water […]

Eleanor’s Secret app review

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Eleanor’s Secret (2011), adapted by French developer Chocolapps (formerly So Ouat) from an animated film of the same name, is an engaging story about the power of story itself. When elderly Eleanor dies, she leaves her home to their Nathaniel’s family and a Russian doll to his sister Angelica. Nathaniel, to whom Eleanor used to […]