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Planet Lettra app review

Upon opening, Planet Lettra (Studio Goojaji, 2015; iOS only) offers the option of taking a young user–friendly tour. I recommend starting there — the app looks simple, but there are a number of quirks that would’ve taken me a while to figure out without the help. As the tour explains (in rhyme), Planet Lettra has […]

Sago Mini Babies Dress Up

Sago Mini Babies Dress Up (Sago Sago, August 2016; iOS only) invites preschoolers to play dress-up with four cute — and familiar to Sago Sago fans — animal characters. The app opens with bird Robin, bunny Jack, cat Jinja, and dog Harvey sitting on porch steps. Given that it’s close to Halloween, it’s just slightly […]

The Complete Fairytale Play Theater app review

Combine elements from Nosy Crow’s fairy-tale app series (The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and Goldilocks and Little Bear) to stage your own once-upon-a-time puppet show with The Complete Fairytale Play Theater (September 2016; iOS only). Start a new story and give it a title and […]

Melody Jams app review

Similar in structure to Toca Boca’s Toca Band (but both a little less substantial and a little less…out there), Melody Jams (Melody Jams Inc., April 2016; iOS only) lets you rock out with your own hand-picked backup band. Fill up to five band spots by selecting from twelve monster musicians on instruments such as guitar, […]

Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime app review

Classic 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 […]

DreamWorks Shrek & Friends app review

A simple, drag-and-drop app, DreamWorks Shrek & Friends (DreamWorks and Fox & Sheep, July 2016; iOS only) invites you to get toddler-aged versions of six different DreamWorks characters ready for their day. The app opens with some very familiar typeface (hint, it’s green with ears) and moves directly into a colorful, early morning cityscape, complete […]

Trilo Spelling app review

In Trilo Spelling (Swedish/American developer Trilo, June 2016; iOS only), your goal is to spell your way to a story. As Spooka the ghost explains, correct answers in a variety of spelling games will earn you fuel for your plane. Then you can fly around the app’s island setting, gathering puzzle pieces which come together […]

Fiete Sports app review

With the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics beginning tomorrow, what better time to play the Fiete Sports app (Ahoiii, July 2016; iOS only)? Similar in structure to Ahoiii’s Fiete: A Day on the Farm app, Fiete Sports allows the affable sailor — with your help — to compete against his friends Hein and Hinnerk in Summer Olympics–style […]

Daily Wonder app review

Fans of R. J. Palacio’s 2012 book Wonder are probably familiar with the author’s #ChooseKind pledge and her 2014 book 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts. Now they can receive happiness-themed quotations each day with the Daily Wonder app (Random House, 2015; iOS only). The app is no-frills: tap “Daily Wonder” in the […]

Toca Tailor: Fairy Tales app review

Toca Tailor: Fairy Tales (Toca Boca, 2012; iOS only) is a fairy-tale-themed companion to the original Toca Tailor app, in which you can “make” clothes by tailoring size, choosing fabrics, and adding accoutrements. Click on one of the two child characters (a light-skinned girl and a darker-skinned boy), and your chosen figure is brought to […]