The holidays are barely over and Chinese New Year is around the corner, so I thought it would be a good time to introduce some of the latest discoveries in the literary iPhone
app department. Though there is no particular order to these apps – no top 10 lists here – I do have a favorite in this bunch that will become blatantly obvious.
First up are two of the many titles brought to the i-scene (I’m copyrighting that) by PicPocket Books. Round is a Mooncake – A Book of Shapes, written by Roseanne Thong and illustrated by Grace Lin, is great for teaching shapes within the context of the Chinese culture. Squares, circles and rectangles are brought to life with a name chop, traditional snacks, lanterns, an abacus and sacks of rice. Aside from being a clever book, the story is narrated by a young girl who does a splendid job. As with all PicPocket Books, the audio can be switched off so that you or your child can read the story and the pages turn with a flick of your finger.
Another fantastic title from PicPocket is A My Name Is Andrew
, written by Mary McManus Burke and illustrated by Donna Ngemanson. This is a cute alphabet book, but a great vocabulary builder that your children will enjoy long after having mastered the ABCs. Each letter is described by a child whose name begins with the same letter who then tells about where they are from using a plethora of words beginning with that letter. So Ernrica from El Paso encourages her enthusiastic elephant to engage in energetic, exhilarating exercise early each morning. And I actually shortened that sentence!
Gray Kitty Goes to School
by Susan D. Tiner and Martin D. Partlan is one of three titles that Tiner Financial Services
has on offer at the iTunes store for free. The simple storyline and the use of cats, dogs and kittens for the characters, make this a nice story for 2-3 year-olds and I rather like that the teacher, Mrs. Rat, is – you guessed it – a rat. The interface is not the sleekest on the e-bookshelf, but the text and audio can be in English or Spanish and you cannot complain about the price.
is another app developer with a lot of titles on offer. The Little Blue Robot
, written by Joanna Emmanuel and illustrated by Evan Toh is the story of a robot in search of his role in a factory full of other colorful robots with their own unique jobs. Story Boy offers auto read or manual page turning and like many of their titles, there is a nice lesson to be gained from reading the story.
All About Dragons
, written by Anthea Chuah and illustrated by Nicola Hwang is another Story Boy title that will enthrall young readers, especially if they like dragons. Interesting facts, trivia and secrets are to be discovered on many of the interactive pages and I even found myself discovering new things about these winged magical beasts that I had never known.
Finally, and hands down the current favorite in our household, is My Wagon and I
, written by Hoa Vu, illustrated by Annabella Goh and narrated to perfection by Tyler Vu whom I assume is the author’s son. This delightful Story Boy tale is made infinitely more enjoyable by Tyler’s little voice rising and falling with each syllable he pronounces. I have shared this short story book with several other families and it always leaves a smile on everyone’s face. Just buy it, you’ll be glad you did.