Children's Book Apps for the iPad

Jan 25, 2011: Having received an iPad for Christmas, I take my first look at children's book apps for the iPad.

book apps

I have just downloaded the Magic School Bus Oceans book app from Scholastic for my iPad and it has blown me away (and, of course, my children love it too). I love Magic School Bus books but I do find that they are packed so full of facts that the story sometimes gets a bit lost. However, this type of book is just perfect for an iPad. With the touch of a finger you can access endless facts about ocean life including real-life videos of some of the creatures and interactive games to illustrate the points made. I also like the fact that the words highlight as they are being read - perfect for my 5 year old who is a beginner reader.

Since then I have been trying to hunt out other good apps for the iPad and found some interesting ones at Oceanhouse Media which publishes apps for books in the Dr Seuss, Little Critter and The Berenstain Bears series, among others. I have also downloaded a Toy Story interactive book from Disney, who also have a read-along book for Princess and the Frog.

Alice for the iPad is a lavishly illustrated interactive version of Alice in Wonderland, available in both a free "lite" version or in a full version. Tilt your iPad to make Alice grow big as a house, or shrink to just six inches tall. The only disappointment for me is that there is no sound, so it is up to me to read it to my young children. But still, it does give a glimpse of the future of digital reading.

Barnes and Noble has launched a Nook Kids iPad App which currently has 100 interactive titles available and more to follow, although it appears to only be available in the US.

So there are some gems out there, although nothing quite beat the Magic School Bus Oceans for me. However, most publishers are moving cautiously into the app market, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see what else comes along.

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