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Favorite Apps

Note: All apps are available for the iPad, iPhone, and Android unless indicated with an *



The storybooks apps by Nosy Crow are my absolute favorite! I love the Cinderella app - the graphics, animations, and dialogue make it a great choice. Users can select to ‘read the book’ to themselves or ‘read and play’. In these modes, readers can tap on blue dots as they appear on the characters to read their dialogue (displayed in speech bubbles) or make the characters move and jump, etc. In ‘read and play’ and ‘read to me’ modes, the length of time the text appears on the screen can be adjusted and as the story is read aloud, the words are highlighted. This app has won several awards: KAPi Award for Best Children's Ebook, Best iPad Kids App of the Year, and the Publishing Innovation Award - Best Juvenile App. For more information and to purchase, go to http://nosycrow.com. There you will see details on 12 additional storybooks that utilize the same great graphics and format, including Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Pigs, so there is a storybook for all ages.



The Reading Rainbow app follows the general format of the TV program. It asks users their reading preferences (adventure, classics, sci-fi, etc.) and places free books to be read on the various islands (based on your preferences). Readers can then select to ‘read by myself’ or ‘read to me’ the storybook. There are a few animations within the books and some books are sung aloud. The app also includes videoclips, games, and puzzles and appeals to a wide age range. It can be downloaded for free at itunes.



Scholastic Storia app has lots of features, such as a highlighting tool, notepad, dictionary, and word games. In addition, it lets you track progress using the features, i.e. number of words looked up in the dictionary. There are a limited number of free books, however, there is an extensive library of books that can be downloaded for a fee and they can be searched by age (3-14), reading level, or by the Accelerated Reader list. For additional information, see http://store.scholastic.com/microsite/storia/about



The ebooks from iStoryTime can be ‘read to myself’, ‘read to me’ where the student sets the pace, or through ‘auto play’. The words are not highlighted as the text is read, but there are great graphics. A few e-books are available for free, but there is a large library of ebooks available for a small fee (ages 3 and up). To download, go to www.istorytime.com



Fat Shadow app is the winner of the Best App Ever Award and 30 Best iPad Apps for Kids. It is an interactive book with sound effects, moveable objects/people, and jigsaw puzzles. Several of the storybook pages have a light switch that can be toggled on/off to display/don’t show the shadows. Also, the read aloud and music options can be turned on/off. This original, quirky story is about a boy named Reginald, who is skilled at creating Chinese Shadows, and his adventures with his own shadow. It is appropriate for children aged 5-9 and can be purchased through itunes*.



This app, available at http://bobbooks.com/reading-apps-for-kids/, is a great accompaniment to the Bob Book series. The phonics based storybook is read aloud to children. It is interactive in that as students put the letters together to form a word, the letter sounds are voiced and when the word is completed the entire word is voiced. The app is geared toward emergent readers, age 4-8.



For young, emerging readers (toddlers to K), the Read Me Stories app is a fun choice. The animations are cute and a child’s voice reads the book aloud. The words are highlighted as they are read and you can tap a word to have it sounded out. There are several series of books: Tuffy’s Adventures, The Frogathons, Animals, Song Books, etc. (to download the free app, visit http://readmestoriesapp.com).



Kidztory app is linked to 13 storybooks for elementary age students (each can be purchased for less than $1). The storybooks have several great features: they are available in nine languages, several storybooks allow the user to record their voice to read the storybooks, and others allow the reader to insert their picture into the storybook. These are great ways to personalize the storybooks. For additional information, see www.kidztory.com*.



MeeGenius! app is a collection of elementary ebooks that students can read to themselves or have read to them. The 700 books are appropriate for children up to 8 years of age. The books are not interactive, but there are lots to choose from. Winner of Scholastic’s Best Children’s Reading and Book Apps, https://www.meegenius.com/.