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

Posts tagged ‘Apps’

Spooktacular-ish Book Apps

Boo! It’s that time of year when all things ghosts, goblins, monsters and mystery take center stage to celebrate Halloween!

Add to your kids’ spooky fun with these terrific stories from the The Book App Alliance Halloween Treats reading list!

October Book Apps – Halloween Treats.

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Apps day out

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Book Apps on exhibit at the NSSLHA conference

Grendel’s Great Escape and Axe’s Monster Fest aka Monster Jam were some of a select group of book apps on display at at the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) conference at Sacramento State University on February 1st. Thanks to exhibitor and therapist Jackie Bryla, SLPA. the apps were tested by the students while other attendees watched on monitors.

Jackie uses kid’s app in her therapy sessions to help children with their individual needs.

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Grendel’s Great Escape on display

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Axe’s Monster Fest being tested by a student

 

Halloween Facebook Party! Join us if you dare.

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Oh, my favorite time of year and holiday. Yes, I admit it I am a big sucker for Halloween!  Halloween is just so much fun!  It is an excuse to be a kid again!  So make sure to join us at our annual Halloween Facebook Party this coming Tuesday the 22nd from 7:30 pm Central time to 9:30 pm.  We have four awesome sponsors: Blue Sand Piper Imprints, Real Talk Interactive, Cupcake Digital and Polka Dots Publishing.  We will be handing out tricks and treats – so make sure to save the date and join in our Halloween Facebook Party!

Details:

What:  Dandelion Moms and Penelope’s annual Halloween Facebook Party where we will talk with our sponsors, hand out tricks and treats and just have a good time!

When:  Tuesday, October 22nd from 5:30pm PST to 7:30 pm PST

Where:  On the night of the party just click this link to attend – that’s it! https://www.facebook.com/events/1456575491234970/?context=create

Who:  All those who are brave enough to handle a spooky good time!

*****Originally post by Dandelion Moms click here to see in its entirety *****

Gifting or sharing apps in the iTunes App store

I was recently asked by my mother, “Can I give an app as a gift?” Apparently a few of her friends wanted to give apps to their grand kids as gifts. My mom, who’s my biggest supporter has been introducing her peers to the wonderful world of book apps.

Leaving book reviews & gifting apps is proving to be a little tricky as they attempt to navigate the iTunes app store. The answer is “Yes!” and “You can do it!” In this post i’ll guide you thru the process of gifting apps. Watch out for my next post on how to leave app reviews.

It’s easy to do if you follow these simple steps. If you aren’t the lucky recipient of a direct click thru link to the app for  you’ll have to do a search first. example of link to a book app “Grendel’s Great Escape :https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grendels-great-escape-hd/id585977954?mt=8

  1. Step : Enter the iTunes app store  Image
  2. Locate the app by clicking on the category ex:books, games or entering the name in the search bar in the top right corner & click enter.

4. Below the icon of the app, to the right of the price is an arrow with a drop down menu, this will give you the option to gift the app as well as sharing it by social media or e-mail. – Appy shopping.

Click here for —-> Video Directions 

iPad screenshot

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Any questions? write them below

Monster Jam children’s app – All about the art

I’ve dotted all the i’s & crossed all the T’s, the stage is set and every things in place. It’s been a wild ride writing & creating the Monster Jam book app with very few hiccups along the way.

ImageOnce the story was written & edited then the real adventure began. It was amazing watching the Monster characters come alive as my super illustrator worked his magic.

Linking the right illustrator with the right project is key to a successful partnership. The wrong fit can quickly turn the dream into a nightmare, believe me…I know. As an artist I seen both sides of the coin. Being on the same page as the illustrator is key, so is giving him as much clear information as possible and  allowing creative license to do what he does best. Keeping the lines of communication open and having an open mind made the process a smooth, exciting and successful collaboration.

ImageThe recipe: No egos, impatience or head butting, add in a creativity, lots of imagination, plenty of healthy idea exchange & flexibility =’s very few edits & beautiful illustrations!

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Here’s a video of the award winning illustrator Vic Guiza drawing the lead character axe, he makes it look so easy.  Click here -> Creating a Mon-Star.Monster Jam by Blue Sandpiper Imprints is available on 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.

Top Ten Children’s Apps

In the vast sea of apps available today, choosing the right ones can be a difficult and daunting task for parents. As I writer and mom, I have a fondness for apps that encourage learning with fun interaction and well crafted stories which encourage reading. Here are my top ten favorites Apps listed by age group.

Beck & Bo –Preschool

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beck-and-bo/id557624393?mt=8

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Beck and Bo is non stop fun and giggles for preschoolers. The unique creative artistic style and music is a great backdrop for the activities and it’s a great learning environment and entertainment for children.

Little Fox Music Box – Preschool 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-fox-music-box-kids/id499541243?mt=8

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Little fox will appeal to music lovers of all ages. This App is a clear favorite with three interactive songs, a record your own song function and the awesome music studio with sounds of every kind to discover. Children will never get tired of playing with Mr Fox.

Leo’s pad Appisode1 – Preschool

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leos-pad-appisode-1/id566773525?mt=8

This is a perfect blend of entertainment and education which encourages user interaction. Features include lovable characters, amazing 3-D animation.Kids engage in a series of story-related activities which includes drawing a birthday card or finding letters and shapes as they watch the animated story staring Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci

My Beastly ABCs – PreSchool 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-beastly-abcs/id578158826?mt=8

Kid’s join in this interactive adventure on a magical day filled with friendly monsters from around the world! This brilliant original story comes to life in an educational, fun experience sure to enchant kids. Features include entertaining games and fun interactive activities.

Grendel’s Great Escape ages 4-8yrs 

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

Android Tablet: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.bluesandpiperimprints.grendelHD&feature=search_result
Blue Sandpiper Imprints

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A fun and funny show and tell’s day adventure about Martin, a messy little boy and his pet Ferret. Kids will love the animation, interactive features and surprises on every page. The Features include original background music and sound effects, as well as the read to me/read by myself function with highlighted words.

The house that went on strike ages 4-8yrs

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/house-that-went-on-strike/id543678181?mt=8

The home and it’s appliances go on strike against it’s family to win their respect. This app about respecting the home is wonderfully told in rhyme and beautifully illustrated. Features include loads of interactivity, Original music and word highlighting.

The Magnificent traveling palace ages 4-8yrs                                

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magnificent-travelling-palace/id512502528?mt=8

You’ll be instantly transported to India in The Magnificent Traveling Palace which is a unique animated book app for children. This app uses technology to bring the enchanting world of India and it’s culture 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.

Treasure Kai and the lost gold of shark Islandages  5-10yrs

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/treasure-kai-lost-gold-shark/id418289114?mt=8

scaled_TreasureKai

 

This is one of the most unique and original Apps available which has set the standard for interactivity and activities that move the game forward. Join Kai a modern day explorer as he embarks on a treasure hunt through history in search of lost gold. This unique treasure hunt adventure app uses a choose-your-adventure format.

 

 

 

 

Gone Wishing ages 5-9yrs

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gone-wishing-interactive-storybook/id488516540?mt=8

Gone wishing is a highly interactive story about a Genie who couldn’t grant wishes. This app features a fantastic world of Goblins, Fairies, loads of magic and amazing graphics.

The Fantastic Flying books of Morris Lessmore ages 5-9yrs

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fantastic-flying-books-mr./id438052647?mt=8

Based on the short film, this story app is just lovely. This well illustrated, wonderfully told story is vividly stunning. The animation and activities such as the piano and the alphabet cereal are seamlessly integrated into the story.

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