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Measure Up! app review

Measure Up! by PBS Kids (2016; iOS and Android) introduces concepts of measurement in a series of activities and videos based on its educational television shows. In a frame narrative, programming “hosts” Dot, Del, and Dee explore an island. Each of three locations on the island highlights a specific type of dimension measurement: “Treetop City” […]

Moose Math app review

Moose Math (Duck, Duck, Moose, 2013; iOS and Android) opens onto a brightly colored city featuring three shops: Moose Juice, Puck’s Pets, and Lost and Found. Each shop offers its own game(s), each with six levels. When you reach the end of any level, you may choose an item to customize your city (a new […]

Tiggly Addventure app review

Tiggly Addventure (Tiggly, 2014; iOS and Android) is one of a series of educational apps which can be played alone or with the corresponding Tiggly-brand counting, letter, or shape toys. To begin, choose your goal: you’re either delivering an apple to a grandmotherly creature, or a wrapped gift to a monsterly peer. You play as […]

The Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds app review

The Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds (IAMYANK/Possible, 2015; iOS and Android) is a companion app to the ambient album Lost Sounds by artist IAMYANK. This adventure follows its hero’s journey through a brilliantly rendered, dreamlike world influenced heavily by sound (appropriately, given its musical provenance). The journey begins at “Poco’s Island.” The opening sequence […]

So Many Butts! app review

Having just co-written (with my Family Reading blog co-parent Kitty Flynn) the article “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor, how could I pass up the So Many Butts! app? (Editora Caixote, January 2017; iOS and Android) I went in with some trepidation, expecting Everyone Poops–level […]

Home Boov Pop! Puzzle Adventure app review

Home is the 3D animated film adaptation (DreamWorks Animation, March 2015; PG) of Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday. Shoshana and I went to see it in theaters and I loved it. I loved it very much. Home Boov Pop! Puzzle Adventure (DreamWorks Animation SKG/Behaviour Interactive, 2015; iOS and Android) is a movie tie-in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fallen London app review

“Thirty years ago, London was stolen by bats. Now, Hell is close and immortality is cheap, but the screaming has largely stopped…” In Fallen London (Failbetter Games, 2015; iOS and Android), I — a shadowy being of unspecified gender, just escaped from prison — stalk the streets of a Hell-adjacent Victorian London with an Alluring Companion for a cohort […]