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

Posts tagged ‘iPad apps’

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.


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.

Back to school with book apps

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


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.


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

A Book App….What’s that?

Each day Children’s writers and app developers convert wonderful classics  and  create amazing new books as apps. There are countless titles based on age, topic or content, just waiting to be discovered & downloaded.

During kids books & app discussions, the first question often asked is “What’s a book app?” A Book App is so much more than an eBook, it’s a digital book brought to life with animation, music, narration and fun-filled activities or games woven into the story. Book apps encourage kids to read, play and explore and are available for use on digital tablets such as the iPad, and smart phones.

Apps multi

Best of all, they’re very inexpensive and provide a unique, entertaining and learning environment. Most fall within the range of 99c-$4.99, a flat fee which usually won’t have ‘in app purchases’. Paid book apps are a preferable option to free apps which bombard our kids with ads or prompt a purchase in order to proceed.


You can find book apps  in the iTunes App Store, under the Books category. In Google Play, you can find book apps under Android Apps > categories > books & reference. There you’ll find wonderful, interactive stories that deliver an animated reading experience. Book Apps likeGrendel’s Great Escape for iPad /Android and Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold for iPad/iPhone allow children to interact with the story, through reading, music and fun activities.

itunes app books location

Google play GGE









– For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a book app, visit the Blue Sandpiper Imprints Kids Korner.

– To see a 2-minute video called “Kids Have Fun Reading on the iPad” visit

Not sure which book apps are suitable for your child? These sites feature the best children apps and reviews, and  provide direct links for downloading.

App Source

Digital Storytime


The Appy Mall 

I heart this app 

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


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


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

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

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 


Android Tablet:
Blue Sandpiper Imprints


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

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                        

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



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

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

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.

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.


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:

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: