App of the Week: Henry! You’re Late Again!


    It is so fitting that I am reviewing this  storybook app today as we were late getting to kindergarten!  Usually we are right on time but some days don't always work out that way. And today was one of them! Henry! You're Late Again by ZebraMinds and written by Mary Evanson Bleckwehl and illustrated by Brian Barber touches on a subject that most of us have experienced in our lifetime. Some more than others but I won't name names! The story starts out with the option of turning on/off the narration and music. I always enjoy this feature as sometimes my daughter likes to have the narration and sometimes she likes me to read the story. There is also a choice of having Henry (the main character) read or Mary, the author read the story. They also have an About button that pulls up a picture of the author and illustrator. This is quite nice for a child to see firsthand who … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight: Rebekah Morris of Funki Frog

The girl in the spasceship advert

  I love to feature individuals who go after their dream of creating a storybook app and book.  It is no small feat to make this happen and I am happy to feature Rebekah of Funki Frog who created a fun app called The Girl in the Spaceship.  We had a chance to talk about where she got the idea to create this story and what have been some of the obstacles she has had to overcome. Tell us how you decided to make your story into an app?  The idea for 'The Girl in the Spaceship' came from some drawings I had created a few years earlier. These drawings, with a little tweaking, then inspired the story to accompany them. The natural progression was then to turn them into an ebook/app.  Since I also have an interest in space exploration I wanted a way to bring a story alive featuring far away galaxies and different worlds to children using imagination, colour and music.  I wanted to … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with iStoryTime


This week we are talking with Woody Sears  who is one of the Founders of  Zuuka and his knowledge of the consumer and mobile technology industries has proven essential to the growth of the company’s digital publishing platform. After co-founding FrogDogMedia with fellow entrepreneur Graham Farrar, the company’s iStoryTime digital publishing grew tremendously leading to a merger with Germany-based zuuka GmbH, resulting in the world’s largest publisher of mobile children’s books. Under the name zuuka, the newly formed company utilizes the largely successful iStoryTime name as its flagship label and joint brand. Developer iStory Time (Zuuka)  is one of the largest developers in the market and provide us with such favorites as The Pirates: Band of Misfits (love this one), Madagascar, and many others.  One of the things I like about this company is the quality of product they put out.  … [Read more...]

App of the Week: The Prisoner of Carrot Castle

POCC Screenshot 1

  Teaching kids the importance of eating quality foods is something I am quite passionate about.  One of the reasons I decided to get my masters in nutrition was because I wanted to know how best to take care of myself and my family as I truy believe that healthy foods are key to good health.  So when I came across Chris Pedersen's app The Prisoner of Carrot Castle - I was sold as it teaches kids how to eat healthy in a fun way. Ms. Pedersen does a great job teaching little ones the importance of healthy foods set in a magical world and Kate Jeong has done a wonderful job at illustrating this gorgeous and fun story.   I had a chance to speak to Chris Pedersen about her company, Purple Carrot Books, and her fun storybook app The Prisoner of Carrot Castle.    Tell us how Purple Carrot Books came about? While The Prisoner of Carrot Castle was in development as an app, I decided to … [Read more...]

Book of the Week: The Witch With No Name


My good friends know that I absolutely LOVE Halloween so a good witch or goblins story is always a favorite around here!  Developer Slim Cricket of France has put out an adorable 3D  iBook called The Witch With No Name.  The quality of the graphics and animation are top rank and it reminds me a bit of Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs by Nosy Crow - it is that good!  Throughout the story you are able to touch the screen and fun animations and sound effects will keep the whole family entertained.  For example, we come across a  ghost hanging from the clothes line.  When you touch him, he says "Boooo" and disappears.  This is just one of the silly characters that show up from time to time throughout the story.  There are over 25 interactive pages, 7 games, and interactive ending and a huge surprise in store at the end of the story. We watch the nameless witch and Batina, her faithful … [Read more...]

Kids Apps: Disney Storybook Apps Sure to Entertain


This article was originally posted on Mom It Forward July 18, 2012: Apple’s app store hit 25 billion downloads this past March.  According to a report by Telenav that was released last August showed that iPhone users were twice as likely as Android users to spend more than $40 on apps for their smartphones. And reports from Appsfire shows the average iPhone user has about 108 apps total: 20 of which were preinstalled (Source: There are so many apps to choose from it can be tough to know which ones to include in your library.  Part of my work as a children’s author includes reviewing apps so that I can help provide some information for parents to help them in their decision-making process when it comes to purchasing apps.  I had a chance to review two storybook apps that Disney recently released including The … [Read more...]

Kid-Capsule Giveaway


Developer Anahelena Natera has provided Penelope's mates with ten (10) promo codes to hand out for the Kid-Capsule App.  You will love this app that helps you to journal your family's lives and create memories.  You can read more about this wonderful app in our In the Spotlight section this week.  Good luck mates! a Rafflecopter giveaway … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Zen Labs


    There some products you come across and say "Why didn't I think of that?"  The fun and helpful app that Anahelena Natera of Zen Labs developed - is one of them!  I think this is such a great idea as most parents take hundreds of pictures with their iPhone and promise themselves they will organize them "one of these days".   I know I am one of those people but I never seem to get around to it!  With the Kid-Capsule app, you can organize your photo's according to date and event.  You can make notations to where the picture was taken, what was said (as we all know the funny things kids say), and there is even room to organize the whole family into their own sections if you choose to.  This app provides a wonderful way to journal your family members  and document lasting memories.  I had the opportunity to speak to Ms. Natera about her app: Tell us how the idea … [Read more...]

App of the Week: The Day I Became A Pirate


By now most of you know I have a thing for pirates!  So when I saw this fun app in the App Store a few months back I immediately welcomed our newest mate to the high seas.  Cary Snowden wrote The Day I Became A Pirate after a long walk along the shores in Hawaii with his children.  Zach Clough does a wonderful job with the illustrations and I just love the way the pirates talk in the app.  Very fun!  It reached the Top 10 Paid Apps in iTunes and was chosen as a 2012 Award Finalist by Dan Poynter Global eBooks.  This will surely be a popular addition for the pirate-loving kid!  Here is an  excerpt from their website: The Day I Became A Pirate – An Interactive Pirate Book App for Kids is an interactive adventure book app about a boy who encounters a band of pirates, and they need his help to save a crew member. He bravely assists as things get gooey and downright fright’nin before he … [Read more...]

Current Giveaway from Nina Lim

Super Harry's Rotten Luck Giveaway.IMG_3012

  Nina Lim of Super Harry's Rotten Luck storybook app from PicPocket Books has provided us with some cool gifts to hand out from Down Under.  She put together a package of Australian stuffed animals, Super Harry's Rotten Luck pad and pens, and cookie cutters that any child (big or small) will enjoy!  So make sure to enter to win one of these Australian goodies! And read about our interview with fellow writer and mom Nina Lim who realized her dream of creating a children's storybook app:   a Rafflecopter giveaway … [Read more...]