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Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed app review

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (May 2013), an animated picture book app from developer Twin Sisters, offers an extra musical twist on this classic nursery rhyme. The app features a standard read-to-me option with an adult male narrator, as well as a sing-to-me option with an adult female singer and children’s chorus. One […]

Flip Flap Farm app review

Flip Flap Farm (September 2013), Nosy Crow’s latest app and companion to the split-page board book of the same name, takes the barnyard animal fun of its predecessor, Animal SnApp: Farm, and presents it in the style of a body flip book. Eleven top halves of various animals pair with eleven bottom halves, allowing for […]

Flora’s Forest app review

Flora and friends spend an afternoon flying a kite on the lawn in the storybook app Flora’s Forest (NoodleBright and HabitatSeven, 2012). Then a huge gust of wind snaps the string, and Flora chases her kite into the dark forest where eerie sounds and creepy shadows set an unsettling scene. When Flora stumbles upon a […]

I Love Mountains app review

Cute kid Sloan Graham, the bear-suit-clad main character of Forest Giant’s nonfiction app I Love Mountains (2012), has a passionate interest in the titular landforms. She shares fun geological facts about mountains through nineteen interactive pages, beginning by describing the three different types of mountains and the plate tectonics that form them over time. She […]

Goodnight Safari app review

In Goodnight Safari (2012), a cozy bedtime storybook app from Polk Street Press, users propel the narrative forward by helping wildlife from the African savanna prepare for lights out. Once basic touchscreen activities, such as reuniting a baby zebra with its mother or dunking a baby rhino in a pool of cool water for a […]

Apps for young scientists

Budding scientists rejoice! These four nonfiction apps use cutting-edge technology, from x-ray composites to 3D imaging, to explore biology, paleontology, and archeology in educational and entertaining ways. Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night introduces users to the world’s only flying mammal. Mary Kay Carson, author of Scientists in the Field entry The Bat Scientists, presents accessible information […]

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

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 […]

How to survive a heat wave

We’ve been having a heat wave in Boston. What better way to spend my time on those 90° days than sitting inside our AC-blasting office trying my hand at various arts and crafts activities from one of my latest Out of the Box finds — The Interactive Art Book (Insight Kids, March 2013) created by […]

World folklore and fairy tales

From the depths of the jungles to Middle Eastern marketplaces to magical fairy forests, the following books span diverse settings. The stories illustrate just how effectively narrative can represent and transmit different cultures’ traditions, heritage, mythos, and history. In Odile Weulersse’s Nasreddine, Mustafa and his son Nasreddine set out for the market four times, facing […]

You Are Stardust app review

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 […]