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Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime app review

appcoverClassic nursery rhymes meet interactive twenty-first-century technology in the Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime app (ustwo, 2011; iOS only).

Beginning with “Jack and Jill,” children can read and/or hear eight nursery rhymes and manipulate the characters and their props, sometimes in humorous ways — for example, swipe that pail of water up the well and a fish pops out; help the little piggy crying “Weee Weee Weee” get all the way home. (If you object to your children wielding a virtual knife, best to scroll quickly past “Three Blind Mice.”)




Each story is told succinctly on two screens (“Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the moon / The little dog laughed to see such fun and the dish ran away with the spoon”) with pleasant optional narration and unobtrusive sound effects. Skip a rhyme or return to a favorite by pulling up a simple visual menu from the bottom of the screen.



The pictures have the look of classic tales; the app’s credits cite W. W. Denslow (i.e., the classic part) and Neil McFarland (the newfangled elements). It’s a mix of old and new that works fairly well without trying too hard.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 4.3 or later); free. Recommended for preschool and primary users.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. I work for the Arrowhead Library System, Rock County, Wisconsin. A number of our libraries are using apps in storytimes, partly as a way to give parents access to good apps for their children. I think it’s great Horn Book has app recommendations BUT we would really like more Android based apps. Moderate and lower income people are more likely to have Android products. I realize Apple does a great job with their apps but surely there are good apps for Androids! Also, if you could designate if the app is for iPads or Androids up front, I wouldn’t waste my time getting excited about an app just to find out at the end it isn’t for Android. Sorry this is so long. Would love to share good apps with my grandchildren, too.

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