2014 Best of the Best: Top Five Book Apps for Early Education

| September 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

It’s time for Digital-Storytime’s fourth annual “best of the best” list for the top picture book apps for children, ages 2-12! This year we are breaking the list down into five separate categories, including this one – five top book apps for the youngest learners. All five of these book apps are perfect for ages 2-5+ and include digital concept books about colors, numbers, the alphabet, and more.

You can see the other categories and get moreinformation about our reviews, here: http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3261.

At Digital-Storytime, we take book apps seriously, as both books and apps. This format is all we review for a reason. We believe the best formats for presenting good books will always be story-driven and reader-driven, not technology-driven; technology may be how we tell stories, but it should never be why we tell stories. In a sea of content, it can be difficult to separate a fun kids app that happens to have a storyline from more meaty literature and educational content for young audiences. We hope we’ve helped.

Top Five Best Children’s Book Apps – Apps for the Little Ones

1. Red in Bed

Created by Josh OnRed in Bed is a lyrical and simple picture book app with the perfect amount of interactivity and animation, lightly added to every page. Designed with the touch tablet in mind, this app (available for iOS and Google-Play) takes a very simple story about the colors all in bed one morning. Only red is feeling sick. The other colors try to help out by coloring strawberries, tomatoes and other red items like a Stop sign, but there really is no substitute for red.

Children will be drawn into the intuitive interface, easily figuring out that you can tap each color/colour ball to hear a different sound, like a piano keyboard.

Read more …

2. Endless Numbers

Endless Numbers, from developer Originator Inc., opens to a carrossel full of numbers to be chosen by swiping or tapping. The selected number word is narrated as the reader matches the image via dragging. The reader is then asked to touch the monster’s eye, activating the adventure. For number one, the word is “unicycle” and the cute monster rides (or tries to) the unicycle before falling off. The narrator says, “It is hard for little blue to ride a unicycle because it has only one wheel.”

A number adventure awaits young learners in this follow-up app to the popular Endless Alphabet & Endless Reader. Adorable monsters scatter the numbers after the user taps. Young readers can then interact with the numbers by dragging the letters to the tracings. The numbers are then asked to match numbers 1,2, & 3 to the screen before being offered a car with a 3-eyed monster.

Also see: Endless Alphabet and Endless Reader.

Read more …

3. Wee You Things

Wee You-Things, by Wee Society LLC, is exactly the kind of book we need to read to our children to help instill 21st century character traits of acceptance.

This HAPPY interactive book encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the differences in people. We were so delighted when we came across this app, every element in this simple read is stunning and the message so poignant!

After a bit of research, we found who was behind this unique style and who inspired them. Jill Robertson, Jason Schulte and Rob Alexander are co-founders of the new kids’ brand Wee Society.

Their splendid graphics and insightful message are combined with the insanely great storytelling technologies of the iPad, making this an app you won’t want to miss.

(Guest review from TeachersWithApps.com)

Read more …

4. Smithsonian – Alphabet of Insects

As apps, Smithsonian alphabet books sparkle, giving enormous value over their print counterparts, including narrated text that highlights as read. This book series fills a great need for digital book apps with non-fiction educational content. The books selected so far have been well vetted as print titles, making it easy as parents & educators to select these digital books with confidence.

Each title in this series takes the original print images and pans over them in a nice, semi-animated style. There is also a nice array of natural sound effects, like buzzing, chomping and chirping, paired nicely with a great male voice-over. The sound effects also help the story come alive without overshadowing the narration. The alphabet series is especially well-written, with in-depth details that take the reader way beyond what is typically known about the subject. With over 26 pages, there is a lot of territory to explore for kids of all ages.

Also see: Alphabet of Dinosaurs and Alphabet of Space.

Read more …

5. Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Farm

Nosy Crow has done it again with Flip Flap Farm, a companion app to the print book of the same name. Featuring the delightful illustrations of Axel Scheffler, this well-crafted app is sure to please the toddler and preschool set (and their parents).

Featuring the tops and bottoms of eleven animals that mix and match, including:

dog, mouse, pig, rabbit, goat, squirrel, turkey, sheep, horse, cow, chicken

This creates a total of 121 possible combinations, along with well-crafted, rhyming text (and an unending stream of giggles).

Young readers will love the whimsy of this app, with creatures like the “Mig” (mouse top, pig bottom) and “Cheep” (chicken top, sheep bottom). A sentence of text for the bottom and top of each animal appears on flip pages beneath each new ‘creature’ in this fun mixed-up story app.

Also see: Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Safari

Read more …

See more of our 2014 “Best of the Best” recommendations:

Top Five Book Apps for Engaging Readers (8-12+) – http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3290

Top Five Picture Book Apps – Art, Music & Poetry – http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3252

Top Five Picture Books – Classics Re-imagined as Apps – http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3297

Top Ten Most Innovative Interactive Picture Book Apps – http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3300

Category: All About Apps, iPads in Education, Top 10 Lists

About the Author ()

Carisa Kluver is the the editor of Digital-Storytime.com, an iPad children's book review site. She has a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and an MSW from the University of Washington. Before starting this project, she was a school counselor, health educator and researcher in child & maternal health.