Gone Wishing - Interactive Storybook by FI Produkcija D.O.O.

This is an exceptional new book app featuring an original story about a company, called Best Wishes, that lies below our world, taking the discarded wishing-well coins, birthday candles (and other 'wishing' objects like wishbones) to make the dreams attached to each object come true. These pleas are answered in an alternate universe where mythical characters (like fairies & genies) use potions and incantations to work magic - filling wishes for toys, ponies and even cotton candy.

The starring character, Jacob, is a little genie with a big problem. Unlike all the other employees of Best Wishes, Jacob can't seem to grant a single wish. Special effects and polished animation make Read more …

Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island - Interactive Book App for Kids by Treasure Bound Books Pty Ltd

Kai is a 10 year old boy with a wild imagination and a love of history and treasure. He lives above his parents' treasure shop and the illustrations of this store were so detailed that I could almost imagine being able to play a 'hidden object' game within the page. Tapping on any one of dozens of items elicits high quality sound effects at every turn in the shop's shelves. And we haven't even gotten to the heart of this book - the treasure hunt itself.

This digital book has wonderful interactive sounds and lots of things to touch on every page. One of my son's favorites was the lamp that Kai gets as a birthday gift. It has a shade that looks like a globe and tapping on it turns Read more …

The Birthday by Sylvia Van Ommen and Maurice van der Bij by WingedChariot Press

An adorable little mouse on a red bicycle stars in this sweet little interactive storybook for young children, from Winged Chariot. The little mouse is delivering the mail to her neighbors throughout the course of the story. She turns to the reader in one of the first scenes and asks, "Will you help me deliver the post?"

The child then gets to touch and drag the little letters to the mail boxes or directly to one of the animals on her route. The letter in her hand and the spot where the child needs to 'deliver' it are both indicated with a slight animation to let the child know what to do. After each letter is delivered, a second scene appears with new dialogue between 'Mousie' and her Read more …

A Present for Milo: A Touch-and-Surprise Storybook by Ruckus Media Group

A Present for Milo is one of the best books I've come across for children under age 6. The words in the book are very simple and the illustrations tell the story as much as the text. Milo is a cat, chasing a mouse in the book, but it never feels like a dangerous chase. In fact, they seem to be having the time of their lives! The reader gets to be part of this adventure, triggering whimsical 'reactions' from the two charming characters, as well as bringing other items in the pictures to life with seemingly endless possibilities.

This delightful interactivity is enhanced by animation that doesn't steal the show. This is particularly nice in a title for the very young and makes this book an Read more …

Happy Birthday to You! - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media

Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss, takes the reader to a magical land where birthday's are celebrated with great fanfare. The story is told in the 2nd person, celebrating the birthday of the reader. As the 'Great Birthday Bird' guides the listener on their magical birthday journey, messages about how special 'you' are abound. First published in print in 1959, this book features the classic illustrations & storytelling of Theo Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. 

For the read-a-long effect, each word is highlighted as it is narrated. Tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 'read-it-myself' mode. Dr. Seuss books are great for children learning to read because they are Read more …

Elly Book 1 by Dipali Vaidya

The Elly books, by Jon Higham, are getting a makeover, starting with book one! Each title will now have the lovely narration of Rose Higham, "a drama student and the author’s niece." The text doesn't highlight as read, but it is otherwise perfect now for pre-readers.

Elly the Reindeer is a cute cartoon-style reindeer. She has adventures with her animal friends in a sweet rural setting where all the child-like characters live in their own homes (by themselves) and look to each other for help, fun and solving the occasional dilemma. In this story there is a mysterious letter in Elly's mailbox. It says "You are invited to a birthday party tomorrow at 11:00am." Unfortunately there is no Read more …

Timo and the Magical Picture book by RIAN Visser Grafisch Ontwerp

Timo and the Magical Picture Book is one of those iPad books that has it all - great illustrations, fun animation and a top-notch story that enchants from beginning to end. Timo is a little boy who receives a magical picture book from his uncle. A note says, "Do not shake the book. That mixes everything up." But Timo shook the package the minute it arrived. Oh no!

The book is 'magical' because 'once you open it, you will be inside it. Before anyone can stop him, Timo opens the book and suddenly the whole family is spinning. The book is all mixed up, though. Plates are falling from the cupboards, mom is wearing a shoe on her ear while watering the plants with milk and Timo fills with air Read more …

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure by Egmont UK

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure is an amazing digital offering, adapted from a 2009 award winning print title for readers age 4-8. It features small animated touches and fun interactivity. The real treat, though, can be found in Stephenson's gorgeous illustrations and story, narrated engagingly by Michael Maloney. In print, this book was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book award and a winner of the Practical Pre-School Bronze medal.

The 5-star reviews at Amazon.com from readers just reinforce the book's literary reception. Charlie is a little boy with a wild imagination. He ventures into a scary castle to find a little princess having a Read more …

Leo the Lightning Bug by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

This is a charming story about a little lightning bug who is having a hard time finding his light. He is very frustrated, like any child wanting to do something grown up. His mother encourages Leo to be patient and feel good about himself, but he still struggles. No matter what he does, he just can't seem to light up. But despite teasing & feeling discouraged, the little bug keeps practicing, becoming triumphant one night during a thunder storm. In the end Leo discovers he has a bright, beautiful light (and that he is very brave).

This book was published in print in 2001 and has over a dozen 5 star reviews on Amazon.com that glow about the heart-warming story by Eric Drachman. It is Read more …

Little Robot Lost His Square [RobotSquare] by Kathleen Marie Sweeney

Little Robot Lost His Square is a really well-crafted story, featuring a child robot who desperately wants to find his square (so he can stand on it and help his mom make cookies). The simple illustrations are lightly animated and so expressive that the reader can't help but root for the little robot on his quest. The story has deeper meaning, too, demonstrating the value of 'persistence' as the little robot searches until he finds the square ... just in time to help his mother.

The book has uncomplicated line-drawn illustrations that are charming and expressive. My little boy instantly identified with the little robot and was anxious for him to resolve this all too common problem - Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

I love this series by Eileen Christelow, but I always think, "Poor Mama!" Funny & full of fun plot twists plus a surprise ending, this title, published in print in the late 90's, has it all. The book was originally titled, "Don't Wake Mama!" which is fitting as the monkeys try to bake a cake and make Mama a present without waking her up. This book doesn't have the counting down rhythm that some of the other Five Monkeys titles have, but it is charming nonetheless.

From the beloved series by Eileen Christelow, this is an adorably illustrated ebook based on a print title published in 1996. In digital form, these books are transformed with sound, interactivity and text that Read more …

Auracle – Miko "Double Birthday!" – HD by Auryn, Inc

The Miko books, by talented author Brigitte Weninger, have been among my child's favorites in print for many years, published in the past decade. I especially love the beautiful illustrations of Stephanie Roehe that pair so nicely with the sweet stories in this series. In this title, it's Miko's birthday and also that of his doll ... a double birthday.

Miko is so excited for his big day, but he worries that Mimiki, his doll, won't get any presents. At first Miko is distracted by all the new toys, forgetting about Mimiki, but in the end, he finds lots of creative ways to incorporate the little doll into his play. A dated reference to a cassette Read more …

Biscuit's Birthday by zuuka incorporated

This is an adorable book based on a print 'early reader' series, popular over the last decade. In this title, little Biscuit is having a birthday. Thankfully turning a year older doesn't have to mean growing up for this perpetual puppy! His mistress has planned a party, inviting his cat & dog friends to enjoy treats, play games and open presents.

Text highlights as narrated in this short title perfect for young learner readers. Simple, but polished animations and interactivity highlight story elements nicely. There is also a selection of extras including coloring pages, memory game, sticker book and puzzles. These extras are basic but well made, making this otherwise short title full of Read more …

Elfishki and the Giant Cake (English + Russian) by Pavel Mamaev

In this beautifully animated tale, readers are introduced to a new world - Rainbow Island (in the middle of the Sparkling Sea). This magical world is inhabited by little people, called Elfishki. "Some of them could fly like butterflies and some could swim like mermaids. They shared the island with animals who could speak and trees who did not talk, but understood everything." This place, where miracles happen 'every day', is home to Elfizz & Maggie, two Elfishki shop owners who do not get along.

On the important occasion of Mr. Thomas' birthday, Maggie needs to bake a large cake but has trouble with her oven. Elfizz is the only other person with an oven large enough, so she reluctantly Read more …

Elmo’s Big Birthday Bash! – A Sesame Street Step Into Reading App by Random House Digital, Inc.

Elmo's Birthday Bash is a fun app with a few areas for improvement to live up to expectations of educational enhancement worthy of the Sesame Street label. It has a story that isn't riveting but does provide for an "early reader" quite well with simple text that highlights as narrated by Bob McGrath, an original cast member in his 43rd season on the show. Fun games are also included that let kids match beginning letter sounds and rhyming words. These games can be included in the story or excluded in the apps ample settings.

These settings include a page guide, easy self-recording options and other solid ways to navigate and set-up the app. Arrows are present to turn the page forward, Read more …

Pooh's Birthday Surprise by Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

This app does not yet have a written review. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how we rated this app in 9 categories.

Are you interested in becoming a guest reviewer for Digital-Storytime? Contact us via the link at the bottom of this page for more information! We plan to add written guest reviews & re-posts from other reputable blogs & app review sites for book apps we rate on our 9-point scale - starting in fall of 2012!

Georgie and the Birthday Girl by BammBosh Ltd

Georgie and the Birthday Girl is an adorable, interactive digital storybook by Colin Treanor with developer bammbosh. Featuring a magic dog kennel and a puppy named Georgie, this book will enchant young listeners and pre-K readers with its cute cartoon characters. The story has unique interactivity that lets the child drive the narrative, alongside light animation. It is also narrated with highlighting of a delightfully crisp British accent (including British spelling in the text).

The storyline is simple but well tailored for this young audience. Georgie's friends plan a special treat for Pebbles, a cute panda. With a little ingenuity, they make their plans a success despite meddling by an Read more …

Collins Big Cat: The Farmer’s Lunch Story Creator by Harper Collins Publishers Limited

The Collins Big Cat series was created in the past decade by UK based Collins Education, the third-largest educational publishing house in the United Kingdom, and an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. The Farmer's Lunch, based on the print title by Paul Shipton, was published in 2009. According to the description:

"It's lunchtime and the farmer's hungry, but his lunch box is empty! He turns to all the animals on his farm for help, the sheep, cows, horses and geese, but they are all being very secretive. Are they hiding his lunch, or a much bigger and better surprise? The delightful illustrations develop the text, providing lots of points for discussion." Read more …

The Little Brown Bear Interactive Picture Book by BAYARD PRESSE

The Little Brown Bear Interactive Picture Book,by Bayard Press, is a gentle and easily assessable app for toddlers to learn about everyday routines, celebrations, and the changing of the seasons. There are six scenes and 4 choices within each scene to help build vocabulary and acquaint little ones with what there is to see and explore in their ever changing and broadening view of the world. The six scenes are: Animals, The House, Family Fun, Holidays (vacations), Outings, and even The Four Seasons. In The House, there is the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room. Add it all up and there are 24 different environments with over 250 vocabulary words to learn!

By tapping on any of the Read more …

Mr. Cupcake Has The Sprinkles – An Interactive Animated Storybook App For Kids HD by Mighty Yeti Studios

Mr Cupcake Has The Sprinkles is the first interactive storybook by Half Moon Bay, California- based Mighty Yeti Studios.  It is a silly yet very creative story about a cupcake who is on his way to a birthday party for a cookie.  As he was leaving his house, he heard a crunching noise.  This noise bothered him so much that he couldn’t leave for the party without investigating who or what was causing it.

The thing that stood out to me in this book is the main character, Mr. Cupcake.  I don’t think I have ever seen a cupcake personified in a book or a cartoon.  He has hair that looks like frosting and puts on sprinkles on his head instead of a hat.  If Read more …

You're Only Old Once by Oceanhouse Media

You're Only Old Once is told in classic Seuss rhyme, tackling the topic of aging in a funny, irreverent way. The old man in the book is poked and prodded by various specialists with funny instruments and little regard for the patient's dignity. It is a book that children will enjoy but the real target audience is adults, particular those facing age with a sense of humor.

This was one Dr. Seuss's last books, published in 1986. The print version was subtitled, "A Book for Obsolete Children" and this is an apt description. It is a whimsical take on getting old with an emphasis on the the medical testing we can all look forward to if our health is good enough to live into old age. It Read more …

Emma Loves Pink by WingedChariot Press

Emma loves Pink is an adorable little ebook with charming illustrations and sweet narration. The story is about Emma, a little girl who loves pink. And I mean REALLY loves pink. She'd like everything to be pink, even the trees and sky. When her froggy friend gives her a present, she imagines all sorts of pink things it could be ... but then discovers it is a cabbage. This green veggie is tasty though and she decides maybe green isn't such a bad color afterall. When she kisses froggy on the cheek to thank him, he turns pink with embarrassment, much to her delight.

This book has simple page swiping and is solidly made. There is also a small 'extra' called "stickers" that lets the child pick Read more …

Max the mouse with (almost) perfect manners by Ave!Comics Production

This is an interesting book. It has an engaging and funny story despite an odd technical layout for an iPad book. If you have read many books on the iPad, this book initially has an unconventional interface that takes a little getting used to. It can be read by paging through the book without narration or it can also be essentially 'played' as a video that is inset on the screen in a window that is slightly smaller than the full screen view.

The book also includes some complicated settings that I didn't find necessary to enjoy the book - something called 'White Mask' and 'Transparency', plus settings to make the picture even smaller than the inset view. I found the book a bit touchy to set Read more …

The Lettermen go to a Party by SN Squared Limited

This fun digital storybook under the category "Education" is interactive in a way that not only makes reading fun, but reinforces spelling, reading and sight words. The 'lettermen' themselves are simple but engaging cartoon letters with hands and feet. They are very appealing to kids and have great expressions that match the words they are forming on each page.

This tale has the 'lettermen' having a party for one of their birthdays. The narration, a British English speaker, is crisp and clear. The opening page of this title even has three balloons bouncing about that 'pop' when tapped. This is a nice little surprise that is unique among the lettermen titles I've seen.

The Lettermen was a Read more …

Spaghetti Day HD by PicPocket Books

"Do you ever wonder what your pet cats do when you leave them home alone?" asks the narrator of this cute book.  Pictured is a large, orange tabby cat slurping spaghetti out of a bowl as big as she is.  It features a group of neighborhood cats that gather to cook and eat gourmet meals. This book was published in print in 1990 by author Maryann Cocca-Leffler.  

This is a 'silly' book that is amusing even if it is far fetched.  The illustrations are lovely, athough the whole book had a blurry feeling to it that made me think it wasn't entirely HD.  The text within the story at one point is even a bit pixelated.  Perhaps an HD version?  But these are Read more …

Mini Fish Tale by Choudhury Sarada Nanda

A Mini Fish Tale is a story about a little girl who receives two beautiful fish for her 10th birthday. One of the fish becomes ill and dies, however, making the other fish (and the girl) very sad. In this beautifully illustrated and lyrical tale, the little girl finds a way to make her fish happy again.

Young readers will enjoy this short but satisfying tale about having a pet and knowing when to set it free. The gorgeous illustrations and subtle pacing of this story make up for its lack of enhancement. There are no aninimated or interactive elements in the storybook, but none are really needed. The expressive and richly colored illustrations do more than enough storytelling without Read more …

Ziggy's Present - Picture Puzzles by ImproVive

Ziggy is a little palace dog who can be found in a series of stories about "Princess Arabella" by Mylo Freeman, a Dutch author/illustrator. Published in print over the past decade, these titles feature detailed hand-drawn scenes that lend themselves nicely to a hidden object search. This series also does a nice job portraying racial diversity, with the little princess and royal court shown with dark skin.

One of the stories, Princess Arabella wants to play, is now also available as an app. Ziggy's Present is based on this series, although it has a very limited storyline. It makes up for this with lots of replay value within the eight interactive 'puzzle pages'. Little Ziggy has to figure Read more …

Five Little Monkeys Collection #1 by Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

An exceptional new app for young readers (with five books in one) is now available from Oceanhouse Media! This is the digital version of the print collection, released in 2009 for the 20th-anniversary of the Five Little Monkeys books, by Eileen Christelow.

This collection includes the following digital titles (click on the title to link to our review):

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do

Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car

In print, this book collection has been a favorite of parents, teachers & young readers. In the digital versions, educational Read more …