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Mammals app review

The latest in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library series, Mammals (2017; iOS only) offers a fascinating introduction to mammals and how their bodies operate. The app opens on a natural history museum–like gallery containing five subtly animated creatures: little brown bat, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, red kangaroo, African elephant, and Bengal tiger. Tap on any animal to interact […]

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 […]

Me app review

Remember Dr. Seuss’s My Book About Me? Me by Tinybop (November 2016; iOS only) is a lot like that. You start by creating an avatar for yourself, choosing from a number of options for the shapes and hues of your face, your eyes, etc. There are enough options that I found myself looking in a […]

The Weather app review

Tinybop‘s new app The Weather (number 6 in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library; February 2016; iOS only) doesn’t give you any directions or tutorial to start. None. The home screen is a simple yet elegantly animated landscape with a few scattered houses, situated beside a sea. A pull-out sidebar menu provides four buttons, each showing a different […]

The Earth app review

At the start of The Earth app (Tinybop, September 2015; iOS only), our blue planet rotates against a field of stars, with occasional comets flashing by (reminiscent of the opening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos). Scroll along a timeline at top of the screen to move through four geological eras, beginning with the Hadean Eon […]

The Everything Machine app review

Much like in their Human Body app, Tinybop’s The Everything Machine (2015) provides an opportunity for experimental play and experiential learning. Here users set up virtual circuits between electrical components to accomplish tasks such as power a (digital) light bulb, play sound, or take a picture. The app makes the most of the device’s utilities […]

The Human Body app review

Last week’s edition of Nonfiction Notes offered several recommended books about medicine and the human body (plus books on social change, how things work, indigenous cultures, and geography/cartography). Another resource, Tinybop’s The Human Body app (2013), introduces the human body and its systems through exploratory play. Begin by selecting from four child avatars. The app’s […]