Find the perfect app for you and your child!
The Complete Fairytale Play Theatre
Reviewed on 11/02/16
Paid on | iOS
Retell your favorite fairytale or mix them all together to make completely new stories. Nosy Crow, creator of the best fairytale apps, has now combined all of them into one incredible, creativity-sparking app. You are provided with a blank, empty stage, then you have the option of adding any background, character, object or soundtrack from any of their popular fairytale apps. Once you've chosen all of the elements of your story, record your voice while you move the virtual "puppets" around on the stage. Create multiple recorded scenes and then combine them together to make one long story. This would be a great app for families to use together. Pass it around the table while waiting for your meal at a restaurant and challenge each person to come up with a new scene to add to the story, then watch the whole thing together when it's done! Add an extra layer of silliness by not allowing anyone to watch the previous scenes before adding their own scene! A fun way to practice the early literacy skills of sequencing and storytelling. This app is packed with content and the creative possibilties are endless. The price is scheduled to increase in the future, so grab it now!
Cookie Next Door -- Rainy Days
Reviewed on 01/24/16
Free on | iOS
A graphic novel that invites you to record your own dialogue. Discover the story of Cookie, a sailor on some rough seas, as you create it! Open the cover of this virtual graphic novel and you’ll discover the first page of the story has only pencil sketches. Each pane contains a yellow star (usually in a speech bubble) and if you click on that star, you can record the dialogue you think should happen in that pane. Once you finish your recording, the illustration changes from a simple pencil sketch to a fully colored (and sometimes animated) scene. For each character in the story, you can choose whether the recording should modulate the voice to be pitched higher or lower. Once you’ve recorded the entire book, you can watch the whole thing playback in the “theater” area of the app. Although the story ends on a cliffhanger, be assured that Rainy Days II is also available in the app store to double your fun. Engaging and hilarious illustrations that appeal to a wide variety of ages and the imperative storytelling aspect make this a top-notch app pick.
Toca Tailor Fairy Tales
Reviewed on 11/30/15
Free on | iOS
Digital paper dolls done right! The first choice you’re given in this app is whether you want to dress up a boy or a girl, but your gender selection makes no difference whatsoever in the fashion design options. Does the girl want to wear a beard? Sure! Does the boy want to wear a flowered dress? No problem! Add accessories from a very eclectic collection (my favorites are the polka-dotted mushroom hat and the wolf mask) or customize their clothing, choosing the silhouette, the length, the color or pattern of the fabric. You can even create your own “fabric” using photos taken with your camera. Once you’re finished dressing your character, take a picture of them “standing next to you” using your device’s camera. Then, try a new outfit! If you love this app, try the full Toca Tailor app for even more options and characters.
Goldilocks and Little Bear
Reviewed on 11/20/15
Paid on | iOS
A new twist on an old tale! The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears has been told (and spoofed) a million times, but this version adds some elements that this librarian has never seen before. First, this Goldilocks (despite her obligatory blonde curls) has darker skin than usually depicted and when we meet her parents, we learn that she is part of a multiracial family--a bold (and very welcome!) choice for this particular fairytale. Second, this app tells the traditional tale from Goldilocks’ perspective, but users also have the option to explore an alternative storyline in which the littlest bear explores Goldilocks’ house (and eats her pancakes, tries on her clothes and reads her books). One of the most exciting features is that users can switch between these two storylines simply by rotating their device--literally turning the story on its head! Although this app still had a few slightly confusing navigational elements (at a few points, its easy to progress through the text without fully exploring the pictures that connect one page to the next, leaving awkward storyline gaps), reading the app together with a grown-up and child and going back again and again to explore the story will smooth out any initial confusion. Another excellent fairytale by Nosy Crow!
Have you ever looked up to the night sky and wondered whether that one really bright spot right over there was a planet or a star or …. maybe something else? Do you know how to identify any of the constellations other than the “Big Dipper?” Would you like to be able to point out exactly where the Hubble Telescope is currently in orbit? StarWalk for Kids answers all of these questions and many more. Using the built-in gyroscope, the app shows you a map of the stars, planets, constellations in relation to your current position. The app is also packed with tons of great scientific information about astronomy and mythology (in relation to the constellations), all shared in a variety of written and spoken word, kid-friendly cartoon illustrations, and a few animated video explanations.