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

Posts tagged ‘animated books’

Back to school with book apps

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

back-to-school

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.

kids-reading

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.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 6.05.52 PM

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.

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

The Appy Ladies review Grendel’s Great Escape

Grendel’s Great Escape.

Link

App Review from i Heart this App

The First Review is in from I Heart this App and it’s a Thumbs up for Grendel’s Great Escape book App 

GGE Review

GGE Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grendel’s Great Escape HD – Adventure Storybook for iPad

Available_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40_0824https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grendels-great-escape/id585972636?ls=1&mt=8

“Grendel’s Great Escape is another solid interactive storybook app that you can let your children read and experience. From the nice illustrations, original music and sound effects, and numerous interactive elements to discover, your child will surely be immersed in this funny adventure story.”

GGE  cover

Details

Grendel’s Great Escape is an interactive storybook for children ages 4-8 that is available on the iPad. It tells the story of how Martin tried to find his escaped pet ferret Grendel in school.

Martin had a pet ferret named Grendel who he decided to bring to school for Show and Tell. As the class was painting, Grendel escaped from Martin’s leash and bag. Martin and his friends now had to find Grendel before the principal Mr. B found the escaped animal. This is the story of how they searched the whole school to find Grendel.

This app is a typical storybook app in that it had full-page colored illustrations with animation to suit the story. Story text is also there on the page for children to read along with. A narrator reads the story while phrases are highlighted in order to help children read along better. The pages also contain interactive elements that children can explore and discover. Your children will have fun reading and playing along with this exciting adventure story.

The developers have announced that this app is compatible only with the iPad 2 and higher models. This is a paid app with no in-app purchases or pop up ads inside.

What iHeartThisApp Liked

The layout and controls of the app is very much like other storybook apps. Turning the page is easily understood and the app is very intuitive to use overall. The inclusion of a table of contents for children to go to their favorite pages or go back where they left off is a good feature.

The artwork is good and enticing for children and the animation in some scenes suits the style and feel of the story. There are several interactive elements within each page that reveals hidden animation or sound effects that children can take time to discover. These elements will serve to enhance a child’s experience of the story.

The narration is clear and the voice acting is good. The option to also turn the voice over off is great for parents who want to read to their children or children who want to practice their reading skills.

Suggested Enhancement

It would benefit the app greatly if for future versions, they developed additional mini games or activities such as coloring or puzzles. These added elements will only serve to increase the app’s replay value.

Overall

Grendel’s Great Escape is another solid interactive storybook app that you can let your children read and experience. From the nice illustrations, original music and sound effects, and numerous interactive elements to discover, your child will surely be immersed in this funny adventure story.

Blue Sandpiper Imprints: www.bluesandpiper.com

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

When Life Gives You Lemons……Get Creative

Not so long ago I suddenly found myself with a chunk of unrequested free time. Having always been a busy working Mom, I was incapable of sitting still or being unproductive. In between Job searches, volunteering & updating my job skills, I got started on my book App. Up to that point, I’d taken the scenic route to writing because life there was never enough time in any given day. Well the time had come & I seized the opportunity to get started. So how does an unemployed mother of two get published? By getting a lot of help along the way & using all the resources around her.

  • Spousal encouragement & support
  • My kids as a constant source of material
  • Free resources at the Small Business Institute
  • Author’s guide to book Apps.
  • A community of Authors & mentors at CBI clubhouse.
  • My son’s 2nd grade teacher reviewed my first manuscripts.
  • Get expert tips from a cousin who’s the social media diva for entertainers.
  • Volunteer in the children’s library (great source of Inspiration)

Eight months later, Grendel’s Great Escape is a reality. It’s Inspired by a child with ADHD, for whom every day is an adventure. This interactive story depicts the Show & Tell day’s adventure of Martin and his pet Ferret Grendel. As with many kids, Martin was always putting things of for later, such as cleaning his room, tackling the laundry monster and leashing his Ferret. In this App, kids will join Martin in his race against time to find Grendel while avoiding the grizzly School Principal.

Where's Grendel

Where’s Grendel

Image

Grendel’s Great Escape Book App

GGE getting help

Recruiting help to find Grendel

Download Grendel’s Great Escape

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

– Coming soon to Kindle, Nook & Android Tablets

Find out more at www.bluesandpiper.com

Resources:

Author’s guide to book Apps www.digitalkidsauthor.com

CBI clubhouse www.cbiclubhouse.com

Social Media for Entertainers www.socialmediaforentertainers.com

Noteworthy Project: Monster Jam children’s picture book & digital app.

App Trailer:    http://kck.st/RXKy1f

Monster Jam is a beautifully illustrated children’s Picture Book and interactive book app about a little Monster with a big dream – Back this project help make this a reality & get this show on the road.

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