App of the Week :: Achoo Gaboo

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      Achoo Gaboo is a wonderful interactive children's story that was "crafted by a small team of dreamers at Pixure Book Publishing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania," says their intro on the Grown Ups section.  I love seeing authors and developers put their heart and soul into a children's storybook app!  And in Achoo Gaboo storybook app geared towards children 2-5 years of age, the star of this sweet tale is a blue elephant named Gaboo who will engage and entertain your kids! Created by Josie Cellone, illustrated by Timothy Banks (Wilkinson Studios) and built in Unity, Achoo Gaboo features an original soundtrack and humorous sound effects to entertain and engage early readers who are learning word association. Every time Gaboo achoos, kids can pop the rainbow bubbles that trumpet from his trunk and tickle his monkey friends who giggle "bless you." Readers … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Let’s Paint Dinosaurs by Dotnamestudios


  Since I was a kid I have been fascinated by dinosaurs.  I mean really, these huge beasts walked our lands!  We do still have some dinosaurs left today but much smaller than say the T-Rex or my all-time favorite Stegosaurus.  Great white sharks, alligators and sea turtles have been around for a long time.  There isn't anything quite like the black eyes of a Great White is there?!  Last year we had the chance to review Dinosaur Zoo and I was so impressed with how life-like the dinosaurs are in the app.  They make great sounds and move just like what you image these beasts would have been like back in the day.  Dotnamestudios, creator of the acclaimed Dinosaur Zoo app (Educational App of the Year 2011, 2012 and featured on Apple's 2013 "Together" commercial) now brings you more high-end CG dinosaur fun with their new release, Let’s Paint Dinosaurs. This is the perfect app for … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Jerry’s Day Out! by Ink Robin


  Since app developer Ink Robin came on the scene last year, I have been a big fan of theirs.  Some of my all-time favorite storybook apps were developed by Ink Robin. If you haven't checked out my review of Piccadilly's Circus or The Hippo, The Rhino, The Elephant... And Me - you really should.  Both stories are wonderful and the illustrations in Piccadilly's Circus are dreamy (and it is quite funny).  Ink Robin just released Jerry's Day Out and it is filled with photographs around New York that the developers took themselves.  There is a really cute map that shows you all the main hot spots in New York such as the East Village, Greenwich Village, Chelse and Soho.  Then of course you have Upper West and East Side where we find the picture of the boy - so that must be where he lives.  At any time, you can go back to the map to take a new adventure for in each city is picture of a … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: VeggieTales It’s a Very Merry Larry Christmas


  A couple years ago my daughter and went to the movie theater with some of her preschool buddies to see the VeggieTales Pirate movie and since then we have been a fan of this fun crew!  Cupcake Digital released VeggieTales It's a Very Merry Larry Christmas last month in time for the holidays.  This is such a fun app anytime of year!  The opening scene takes us to Larry the cucumber singing and asking us: "Do you like to talk with vegetables and walk down the produce aisle - then they have a show for us!".  VeggieTales... VeggieTales... is the chorus and you find yourself singing along with them.  When you touch the green arrow you are taken to elf Larry in front of the Spring Valley Mall where he is working as head elf.  It is has been a busy season for him and he wants to know if we can help him.  He reminds us that Christmas is a time for giving after … [Read more...]

Disney’s Jake & the Never Land Shapes and Patterns Giveaway


  I think Penelope and Jake need to be friends!  Jake and the Never Land Shapes and Patterns is a new app by Disney Publishing and invites all pirate-loving kids on a fun and educational adventure.  They will learn about shapes and pattern identification and have fun while learning these important skills.  There are three leveled curriculum activities that help keep them engaged while they learn about matching shapes, complete patterns and even trace their way to treasure with Lighty.  Argh!  Treasure!  They have to be quick as Captain Hook is on their trail so they are encouraged to complete the tasks quickly.     We enjoyed each of the interactive activities.  Jake and the Never Land Pirates is a cute crew and will keep your kids entertained while they read a new pirate story featuring their favorite pirates!  Designed for kids ages 4 and up, Jake's Never … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Lately Lily


  This is a fun storybook app and interactive game that we really enjoyed playing.  The first page opens up and we can choose between Chapter One to Chapter Four.  Each chapter has a different activity for us to do.  In Chapter One: A Sunny Yellow Suitcase, we are told that traveling Lily just received a letter from her oldest friend, Audrey, who lives in Paris, France who wants her to come out to join her for a concert at their favorite coffee shop. Lily's sidekick is a zebra called Zeborah, who tells us we have lots of packing to do. So off we go to help pack her bags and choose between her favorite dresses, shoes, hats and miscellaneous items such as a travel journal, camera and a cute necklace.  When we pick different items, Zeborah says things like "Oh, my favorite" and "Ohhh, accessories!"  He has a dry sense of humor that parents will enjoy. When we are done packing her … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight :: Tom Anderson of Blackfish Children’s Books

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Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books introduced me to Tom Anderson who heads up the app developer company:  Blackfish Children's Books.  I was impressed with the platform that he and his brother have created and the quality of storybook apps they offer.  Their book engine allows the app user to choose the main story character, add customizations to make the story about yourself, and the ability to create choose-your-own-path adventures.  I know my daughter loves to create stories where she is part of the adventure.  The Blackfish Children's Books offer this unique ability for your kids to not only be a part of the story but chose different main story characters.  I had a chance to speak to Tom about his company and their new project called The Great Illustrator Project. What was the inspiration behind creating Blackfish Children's Books? Our former company was a video game company. After … [Read more...]

App of the Week: Ten Giggly Gorillas by Wasabi Productions


Who can resist a bunch of giggling gorilla's?  No one in our household that is for sure!  Wasabi Productions Ten Giggly Gorilla's is quite fun for the whole family to enjoy together.  The first page offers us a chance to either have the story read to us or read it by oneself.  There is even a button For Parents (that you have to hold for at least 3 seconds) where you can subscribe to their newsletter.  I like that this feature is difficult to get to so that the youngsters probably won't be able to access it. This storybook app is perfect for ages 3 to 6 years of age.  The developers, Wasabi, state on their homepage that the reader's interaction is a big part of the story that will surely delight and inspire young readers.  My six year old really enjoyed the interaction and the silly gorilla's.  The story is set in rhyme and helps us to count down from ten to one.  Here is an … [Read more...]