The Musings, Notes & Book/App reviews of a Children's Writer

Archive for the ‘Teachers’ Category

Appy Holiday Gifts For New iPad Owners!

The holiday season is in full swing and parents everywhere are looking for holiday gifts and quality entertainment for children eager for a warm fireside activity.

The Book App Alliance publishes book app reading lists for parents looking for just this kind of treat, and our December Holiday edition is here to please.

Our list this month features a list of book apps that can be downloaded to a new iPad as a gift, or introduced for engaging new reading on a cold and blustery day.

This holiday list of endearing stories is sure to inspire new friendships, affirm old ones, and warm the cockles of your heart as the starlight sparkles through the cold crisp air of wintertime.

Click on the link below for the Book App Alliance December Holiday Reading List:

via Appy Holiday Gifts For New iPad Owners!.

App Gifting Tip for Parents: If you are introducing an iPad to your family over the holiday, sneak the iPad out of its wrapping and pre-load these books so that your children can immediately enjoy the fun when the wrapping comes off; you’ll make a bigger impact if they can engage in exciting content right away instead of waiting until later for downloads.

A Family-Friendly Reading List For The Season Of Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving, and that means curling up by the fire with family and warding off a bustling wind with heartwarming stories!

book-app-alliance-november-reading-list1Whether you are entertaining the kids while preparing a Thanksgiving feast, searching for unique food-themed stories, or getting ready for an afternoon nap after a thankful meal, this month’s Book App Alliance reading list offers a cornucopia of terrific storiesand entertaining activities you will be grateful for.

As winter approaches and outside time is limited, present your children with educational options that entertain with family-friendly stories from leading independent authors.

The Book App Alliance presents the November Thanksgiving Reading ListA Family-Friendly Reading List For The Season Of Thanksgiving.

Back to school with book apps

By now the children are all back to school across the country.

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They’re getting settled in their new classes with new teachers, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. There will be new challenges as they overcome the summer brain drain and start filling their minds with exciting new lessons.

A fun way of re-enforcing their newly acquired reading skills on the week-ends are digital book apps. The multi sensory experience brings the reader into the story and soon they’ll be begging for more. This is music to any parent’s ears because let’s face it, they’re so many distractions these days that reading isn’t always their first choice.

I had this experience with my reluctant reader and it inspired me to dive into the magical world of digital book apps.

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The app store and Google play is flooded with apps so it’s sometimes difficult for parents to know where to start and what to download.

Digital Storytime is a renowned and trusted source in both the literary and app world and they have recently released their top 25 list of book apps. They shine a light on educational apps that can become hidden in the app store so that’s where I would start. In fact I read their app reviews when researching for my sons apps and when writing for kids. I was more than thrilled when Grendel’s Great Escape was listed in their top 25 best stories for 2013. It is an honor for it to be noticed and placed alongside these other amazing books.

It’s also perfect timing because September is ADHD awareness month and the main character was inspired by a child with ADHD. He’s messy, disorganized, adventurous and a whole lot of fun.

Martin's mess

Martin tackles the laundry monster

Download it and let me know what your kids think.

Digital Storytime’s Top 25 Best story books

Grendel’s Great Escape adventure story for iPad  Android

Book Apps – Summer’s Boredom Busters

It’s the final stretch, the countdown has begun towards the end of another school year. Children excitedly anticipate the classroom parties & yearbooks are being signed. Summer camps have been scheduled, as well as planning vacations, theme-parks, local festivals & daily trips to the pool.

Battles are also being waged on how much holiday schoolwork or reading is fair. “What’s the point of summer holidays if I still have to do school work?” was my 3’rd graders response after i’d shown him a wonderful teacher recommended summer math curriculum website IXL.  Apparently I hadn’t gotten the memo that the ‘Summer holidays’ is their reward for making it thru the school year & it’s supposed to be work free!

The solution: Book apps! Children will love the interactivity, integrated gameplay features, animation & much more.

Book apps are fun on the go; take them on vacation, road trips, flights, long wait times & down time. 100% Guaranteed to squelch “Are we there yet?” chant or the “I’m bored” announcement.

Listed below in categories of Adventure, Summer assortment, Edutainment & Travel are the top 20+ excellent, well written children’s book apps which range in price from .99c – $4.99. Best of all, they’re free of distracting pop-up ads & in app purchase requests. Download them from the direct links below to your digital tablets & smart phones.

 Adventure

Grendel's Great EscapeGrendel’s Great Escape  available on iPad & Android tablets

With the swipe of a finger, Children can bring characters to life in this interactive storybook that they will enjoy reading over and over. With it’s wonderful illustrations, original music, sound effects, and numerous interactive elements to discover, your child will surely be immersed in this funny adventure story.

BOOK1ICONFEB2013 FinalTreasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island available on  iPad & iPhone

Help Treasure Kai find gold. How many chests will you have to open? One, three or all eight? This treasure hunt adventure is loads of fun for both boys and girls. Winner of “Best in Category” at the New Media Film Festival.

Treasure Kai 2 newiconbook2sampleNTreasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold  available on iPad & iPhone

Go back in time to help Treasure Kai race Francisco Coronado to find the Seven Lost Cities of the Gold in the new world. This sequel to “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island” was one of only 20 apps to receive a 5-star review from Digital Storytime in 2012, this app is a unique reading adventure with gameplay integrated within the book app.

Ride w alienMy Ride With The Alien available on  iPad

This interactive children’s book app for the iPad that features educational activities designed to inspire children to learn more about the solar system.

 

The day I became a pirateThe Day I Became A Pirate available on iPad

This interactive children’s adventure book app is told in clever rhyme, and features activities on every page including an interactive treasure hunt and clue games. It’s about a boy who encounters a band of pirates needing his help to save a crew member. He has to muster his courage to save the day, and gets an unexpected surprise. This unique children story is both entertaining and inspirational, with strong themes of friendship, trust, courage and service.

POCC iconThe Prisoner of Carrot Castle – available on iPad

In the first book of the Veggie Chronicles series, The Prisoner of Carrot Castle, children discover that eating vegetables is what heroes do, that is, if they want to eat their way out of a wicked King’s clutches. Vivid colors, lively music, and fun interactive spots draw in the reader who quickly becomes invested in Aiden’s dilemma and help him along (tapping, sliding, tilting) in his adventure.

Penelope-icon-180x180Penelope the Purple Pirate – available on iPhone and iPad

Adventurous children whose imaginations know no bounds will find a kindred spirit in Penelope. Come along on her journey as her bedroom opens up into world of pirates, the open sea, buried treasure and trusted friends. Discussion questions, ideas for additional interaction for the pre-school classroom and home, and fun facts about the sea creatures in the story are included in the app.

App Icon magnificent trainThe Amazing Train  available on  iPad 

is a beautiful adventure story told through the eyes of four. It is an interactive, colorful and magical book app in which reality is infused with fantasy.The app uses technology to bring the enchanting world of India to children. The captivating colorful 3-D illustration and animations together with original music, authentic sounds, and rich interactivity, create an exciting Indian atmosphere through which the adventure comes to life.

Bill-The-Fish-Icon-Logo-512Bill the fish  available on  iPad

This wonderful book about Bill the fish explores the amazing world of life under the sea, where being different is celebrated as not only normal but beautiful. Today our precious children’s individuality is constantly threatened by the manufactured expectations portrayed in the media, sorely affecting self-esteem. Bill the fish, will teach your children that being different is what makes the world wonderful and like Bill, no matter how we look to others, we are happy, being ME.
Laloo

Laloo the Red Panda (iPad) is an interactive story app featuring an adorable red panda’s adventures in India. 20% of each purchase is donated to the Red Panda Network to assist with their conservation efforts and protection of the endangered red panda in the wild.

 

Summer Assortment

Luca lashes Luca Lashes available on iPhone &  iPad 

Prepare your own child for his or her first foray into the swimming pool with Luca Lashes has his First Swimming Lesson. As your child takes to the water and begins learning how to swim, Luca will show your little boy or girl that there’s no need to worry about the pool.

Slibby Slibby the snail –  available on iPhone iPad Mac

A funny and charming story about a little snail called Slibby who is helping his friends Ants to find their stolen food. While Slibby is searching for the food, YOU will have to help him by solving all kinds of quests! Will Slibby succeed? With your help – definitely!

Super Harry iconSuper Harry  iPad

Super Harry’s Rotten Luck is a funny and encouraging tale about how changing your actions can change your luck! Chosen as a TOP PICK by Smart Apps For Kids.

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Henry! you’re late AGAIN!  available on iPhone & iPad

Do you have a big wolf waiting in your school if you arrive late? Henry does! Find out who it is and just what makes him late every single day.  Animation, narration, music and special sounds add to the humor and quirky illustrations in this app. Kids of all ages LOVE it!

Gerry.appstore_icon Gerry the Giraffe  available on iPhone and iPad

Gerry the Giraffe wants to join the volleyball team but they think he’s too small and not strong enough.  Upset because he isn’t invited to summer volleyball camp, he finally realizes what he has to do. Over the summer, while the team is away, something amazing happens from Gerry’s hard work. Common Core Standard Aligned Reading Activities incl.

Turkey who forgot to gobble The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble  available on iPhone and iPad

This app is a delightful way to talk to your children about friendship, working hard, perseverance and most of all that friends will be there when you need them. This app is available in both English and Spanish so you can practice with your children.

Twinkle TwinkleTwinkle, Twinkle, Nighty Night  available on iPhone and iPad

It’s nighttime and everyone in the house is fast asleep….except for some of the animal friends! They need our help! This peaceful and imaginative storybook app invites the reader to comfort their animal friends to go to sleep by making a wish upon a special twinkling star.

Edutainment

SmartySmarty Britches: Nouns Available on iPad  Free Curriculum/Reading Strategies/Project-Based Learning

This engaging educational app comes highly recommended.Travel to the deep South and discover NOUNS! Join a boy with a magical pair of Smarty Britches as he explores fascinating people, animals, places, things, and ideas.

Henrietta 125x125Henrietta is Hungry available on iPad

Henrietta is a daring and adventurous little cook who loves to try new foods. Join Henrietta as she sails the world searching for a scrumptious, stupendous dish! Includes CCS curriculum. Chosen as a TOP PICK by Fun Educational Apps.

Bud the bunnyBud The Bunny  available on iPad

Join Bud the Bunny and his best friend Bee for 30 pages filled with touch-activated animations, sound effects, and plenty of practice building B-word sentences. Listen to narration by Clare Kramer (Bring It On, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), or read on your own. Part of each sale goes to Kids Need To Read, a national nonprofit improving children’s literacy

Travel

Postcard

Bound Round   available on  iPad & iPhone

Bound Round Sydney is an interactive travel app for kids to help them earn a vote in family travel decisions.  With content created by kids, for kids, Bound Round Sydney uses stories, photos, videos and games to let kids uncover all the fun things to do there before they arrive.  The built-in travel journal and postcards lets them record their own adventures and then share them via email with family and friends.

Beware M TassaudsBeware Madame la Guillotine: A Revolutionary Tour of ParisiBook  iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

this School Library Journal Top 10 2011 App is a must have educational tourism app for all families of teens and tweens and student tour groups traveling to Paris

Tweens

512x512Brush of Truth is an interactive storybook app for kids 8-12. Written in second person, “your” voice, you choose how the action unfolds at critical points during the plot. Reach an ending, go back and make different choices to explore a new path. Brush of Truth is about two kids who find an enchanted paintbrush. It has 65 decision points and 20 possible endings. Available on iPad/iPod touch/iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android and Windows 7 devices.

coming soon sticker

Watch for the release of the ‘Monster Jam’ interactive app with ‘play with the band’ activities, games and animation.

IPad w App Covers MJA Rock & Roll story of a little monster with big dreams of being a Mon-Star. Visit  www.bluesandpiper.com for updates.

Black History Month Book of The Month ‘Jazz Age Josephine’ by Jonah Winter

This guest post is by Tia Biamont, Elementary School librarian, Teacher and Mom. Tia’s inspirational Black History Month displays are both educational and entertaining. The perfect mix of digital media & traditional books to appeal to the varied tastes of modern day kids. This included Author bio’s, Book Reviews, scannable barcodes and video footage on iPads/computers.

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Of all the books and dynamic video footage of amazing & notable people who’ve contributed so impressively to our society, the one that’s getting the most attention from the children is Jazz Age Josephine

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Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906 to a laundress and a musician. At the age of 13, she began touring the United States with the Jones Family Band and The Dixie Steppers, two comic groups. She performed various comical skits. When the troupes split, she tried to advance to a chorus girl, but she was turned down because she was “too skinny and too dark.” She continued to have trouble landing roles as a singer, actress, and dancer, so she moved to France.

She was wildly popular in France. During World War II, she performed for the French troops and smuggled secret messages for the French government that were written on her music sheets. In the 50s and 60s, she visited the United States to help fight for Civil Rights. She spoke out about her experience of being refused service at the Stork Club. To show that children of different colors could get along, she adopted 12 children from around the world. She called her family the Rainbow Tribe. She spoke at rallies and was a speaker at the civil rights convention where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Click to See Josephine in action 

Link

The little App that Could

Great article on GGE e-book App

Great article on GGE e-book App

Article on Grendel's Great Escape book App

” With the swipe of a  finger, children can bring characters to life in this interactive storybook App Grendel’s Great Escape”

Dallas Child Magazine has noticed and is spreading the news about the little App that could. Written & Developed by a Mom at Blue Sandpiper Imprints to encourage children to read in this digital age, where kids gravitate to electronics and picking up  a book is often forgotten. Grendel’s Great Escape makes reading fun, it’s full of interaction, animation and engaging music – download to iPad

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grendels-great-escape/id585972636?ls=1&mt=8

Featured App: Grendel’s Great Escape – by Smart App for Kids

I’m Thrilled to share a feature post about this Story book App. If you haven’t already downloaded it to the iPad for the kids, Please do so! It’s non stop entertainment for the price of a latte.

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Download  Grendel’s Great Escape

Grendel’s Great Escape Video demo

Today’s Featured App will strike a chord with any parent who has had to deal (patiently) with a child who likes to procrastinate.

Does the phrase ‘Oh, I’ll do it later’ sound familiar to anyone? Meet Martin and his very cute pet ferret, Grendel.

Grendel’s Great Escape tells the story of Martin, a little boy who is a tad laid-back about time, tidying and tracking his pet ferret Grendel. Martin has decided to bring Grendel into school for Show and Tell but because he hasn’t secured his pet’s leash properly, Grendel escapes and runs around the school.

Martin and his friends begin a covert search to find the furry ferret who ducks and dives at every turn, even hiding up a janitor’s trouser leg. There’s lots of things to tap and interact with in this story app and there’s the option to read it yourself or have the spoken narration.

Grendel’s Great Escape is sweetly illustrated with cute surprises throughout. It’s a hide and seek mystery where upon each page you look around for the Houdini-esque ferret.  All’s well that ends well and a snoozing Grendel is found and happily displayed for the Show and Tell.

And there are good lessons in this story, (albeit ones I seem to be endlessly repeating). Leave yourself enough time to do things properly, keep your room tidy, organize your schoolbag…I live in hope that one day my kids will actually listen to me.

Perhaps I should get them a pet ferret?

Smart Apps for kids review link: http://www.smartappsforkids.com/2012/12/featured-app-grendels-great-escape.html

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