Oceanhouse Media, makers of digital book apps, are celebrating Mother's Day with a giveaway and a new app.
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It is now Summer, what a wonderful time, so I bring you news, that will mostly rhyme.
Oceanhouse Media want kids to read, whilst home this season, so thus there's a sale, if you needed a reason. Over twenty apps, now cheaper to get, most down a dollar, others further yet. They're about science concepts, aimed at ages five to eight, featuring the Cat in the Hat, which is pretty great. They'll teach your kids, whilst they rhyme, which is pretty impressive, doing both at the same time.
The list of apps can be found below, just in case you wanted to know:
- A Great Day for Pup: All About Wild Animal Babies
- A Whale of a Tale!: All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales
- Clam-I-Am!: All About the Beach
- Fine Feathered Friends: All About Birds
- Hurray for Today!: All About Holidays
- I Can Name 50 Trees Today!: All About Trees
- Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles
- If I Ran the Horse Show: All About Horses
- If I Ran the Rainforest: All About Tropical Rain Forests
- Inside Your Outside : All About the Human Body
- Is a Camel a Mammal?: All About Mammals
- Miles and Miles of Reptiles: All About Reptiles
- My, Oh My-A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies
- Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur?: All About Dinosaurs
- Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants
- Oh, the Pets You Can Get!: All About Our Animal Friends
- On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects
- There’s No Place Like Space!: All About Our Solar System
- There’s a Map on My Lap!: All About Maps
- Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?: All About Deserts
- Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures
I am excited to let readers know about the important sale that Oceanhouse Media will be having from Friday, February 28, through Thursday, March 6, discounting their entire library of Dr. Seuss apps - including both the classic Dr. Seuss titles as well as apps from The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library, all to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd. Personally, I can tell readers that during the years before I had the opportunity to review applications I would take full advantage of this annual super-Seuss sale, gathering titles for my son at a wonderful discount that allowed me to try stories with I was not familiar for little financial risk and with great success, creating new family-favorite tales that I thoroughly enjoy to this day.
I greatly appreciate being able to listen to the optional professional narration included within each of these apps as I honestly find much of Dr. Seuss difficult to effectively read out loud. Subtle, pitch-perfect sound effects can be found within these adaptations of which I quite fond, adding new dimensions to these timeless titles. The original illustrations are included within and look bright and appealing against the backlit screens of the iPad or iPhone. Children will benefit from the highlighted text as well as the ability to tap a word to hear pronunciations if extra help is needed while reading as well as other features associated with these applications.
For the first time, this sale includes each of the 44 classic storybooks by Dr. Seuss and those from the related The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library; including Oceanhouse Media’s anthology applications Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection 1 and 2, Dr. Seuss Short Story Collection, I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories - Dr. Seuss and The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories - Dr. Seuss. Enjoy 80% off of five of Oceanhouse Media's most popular Dr. Seuss apps, as well as one dollar off other titles and special pricing for the storybook collection apps. These thoughtfully narrated Dr. Seuss apps have allowed me to sit back and listen to these stories along with my child, and I can say that I enjoy these storybook apps sometimes more than even he may, making this yearly sale truly wonderful.
Hit the jump to see all of the Oceanhouse Media titles on sale or head to the App Store directly to check out their full list.
I Love You Too - Ziggy Marley Zigs onto the App Store, Offers an Interactive Book Experience for Children
I Love You Too - Ziggy Marley is a new app based on Ziggy Marley's children's book I Love You Too. The interactive book app is narrated by Ziggy and lets children view pictures, learn vocabulary, and personalize the experience with their own narration. It also lets users sing along with Mr. Marley.
Angels Around Us from Chicken Soup for the Soul is the First in a Series of Chicken Soup for the Soul Apps
Angels Around Us from Chicken Soup for the Soul is the first in a series of new apps from Chicken Soup for the Soul - offering 21 stories that bring comfort, happiness, and inspiration. The app features a personal journal to record your own experiences, quotes, story audio, and soul work that can be shared with friends and family through email or Facebook. Angels Around Us is available for $2.99, and more apps from the series will be available soon.
Scrambled Eggs Super! - Dr. Seuss is a new book app that's been released by Oceanhouse Media, its 300th mobile app release. That's quite a few apps!
Anyway, this app is appropriate for kids between the ages of 3 and 9, telling a story about young Peter T. Hooper as he travels to new places in search of the perfect ingredients for his "scrambled eggs super-de-dooper-dee-booper special de luxe," as it says on the app store.
Well, doesn't that sound super-de-dooper-dee-booper-ee-freakin-dee-jaffa-kree special!
"If you want to get eggs you can't buy at a store,
You have to do things never thought of before.
Why, to get at the egg of one very small Dawf,
We had to pry all of one mountain's top off!"
Yawns, as we all know, are contagious. But getting a round of them going for preschoolers at bedtime or nap time isn’t easy. Dr. Seuss and Oceanhouse Media, the iOS publishers of his catalog, have something that might help make little ones sleepy, and certainly will entertain them, while teaching them pre-reading skills on the side.
Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book tracks a single yawn that spreads to "Seussian” characters ninety-nine zillion, nine trillion and three times over. Now that should be enough to get even the most stubborn child’s lids drooping a little.
Like all digital children’s books in the Ohm Books catalog, the app is universal and focuses its attention where Mr. Geisel would want it – on the story. The artwork is the original, of course, and there are very few features distracting or detracting from it. What digital goodies there are focus on pre-reading skills like word-object association. There are three reading modes from fully automated and professionally narrated, to read-alone with tappable words to learn how to pronounce them with a minimum of frustration.
Dr Seuss's Sleep Book is a classic Dr. Seuss title, now a universal app released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this delightful tale of a contagious yawn that spreads through this fantastical world created by Dr Seuss, including unique creatures and whimsical tangents that could only come from the mind of Theodor Geisel.
Few titles are as deserving of being adapted into an application as The Sleep Book, allowing parents to lie back and listen alongside their child to this highly popular story. I do love this intricate sleepy tale myself, but I have always been self conscious of my ability to read Dr. Seuss out loud effectively.
I find reading Dr Seuss's Sleep Book is even more challenging for me - especially because yawning is really contagious, and it takes me only a few pages of reading about and seeing images of Seussian characters behaving sleepily that I feel too tired to continue and much prefer to hear this story read out loud than doing the reading myself.
As with the other Dr. Seuss titles as well as other storybooks developed by Oceanhouse Media, the original illustrations included within are lovely, with the zooming and panning of these images to focus the attention on readers as well as allowing one to see details. Narration is included if one would like this book read out loud, or one can read this story by oneself. New readers will also appreciate that individual words as well as paragraphs can be tapped to be heard without listening directly to the narration, especially with the pronunciation of the newly created words and species names that Dr. Seuss is known for.
I also really appreciate that these Dr Seuss apps as well as the Oceanhouse Media apps in general can be enjoyed on Auto Play, making these pages turn on their own, allowing one to simply listen to these stories being narrated without the need to turn the pages, allowing one to close one's eyes and drift off.
It is true that while the illustrations of Seuss books are part of the draw, but we do sometimes enjoy listening to these stories, as here wonderful sound effects are included that bring a richness that make the experience something different from reading these books out loud.
Dr Seuss's Sleep Books include plenty of snoring sounds, purring-like sleepy sounds and other soft noises, plus other effects so relaxing that children could easily fall asleep before this lengthy title is finished.
Because of this, it would be nice if a menu of sorts were available to scroll through these pages to pick up where one has left off - a function not currently offered within this series of apps. It good to know, however, that readers can still find their place by exiting this app without properly closing it, allowing this app to be re-opened at the same spot later on.
It is also worth noting that not all storybook apps can be put down to simply be listened to, as some will stop functioning when the screen is not touched for while. Not being really technical myself, I don’t know why one can let the Oceanhouse Media apps play through without being automatically turned off by themselves, but this element is something I appreciate and do not take for granted.
I would also like to report that narrator David Price - new to Oceanhouse Media applications, does a great job of being relaxing and includes a wonderfully understandable cadence while reading Dr. Seuss - no easy task. I believe that along with fellow narrator, John Bell, Oceanhouse Media has found its sweet spot in finding the perfect radio voices for their narrations. I hope they continue the good work as the talent behind a narrated storybook can make or break the project.
It has been my pleasure to see Dr Seuss's Sleep Book developed into an application, and I hope Oceanhouse Media continues to adapt the other Seuss titles as well.
It would be nice, however, if the illustrations and message found within the cover of Dr Seuss's Sleep Book - “This book is to be read in bed" - was also included, possibly on the main menu page of this app, as this illustrated message to fans of Dr. Seuss is an important detail not to be forgotten.
Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? All About Dinosaurs is a very nice adaptation of the title of the same name from the Cat and the Hat’s Learning Library.
I have uniformly enjoyed all of the book apps Oceanhouse Media has developed, bringing published children’s titles to life with the inclusion of options such as narration with highlighted text, the labeling of objects found onscreen with text as well as additional narration, as well as sometimes including other light animated hot spots and oftentimes sound effects. One can tap on words or even paragraphs to hear the text read whether or not while listening to the narration - wonderful for new readers who may need extra help in some places.
I am especially enjoying the chance to hear this book, Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? with professional narration as I have always had trouble pronouncing and remembering different dinosaur names - serious business when you are the mother of a four year old.
The information in the dinosaur book is great for beginner paleontologists as it is general in nature, focusing on names and a little bit about each of these creatures, also includes fun dino sound effects along the way. It also does a nice job of discussing fossils and their preservation and excavation - an important part of the story often left out of other dinosaur books and applications.
As with other Cat and the Hat’s Learning Library, familiar characters such as the Cat in the hat, Sally, Dick as well as Thing 1 and Thing 2 are back young these pages keeping this story fun and engaging.
As with the other Dr Seuss apps of Oceanhouse Media, the original illustrations found within the book are included, as is the technique of panning and zooming to draw readers' attention in a way that is subtle yet dynamic in spots as the zooming out may reveal other dinosaurs or other details on the page.
I am happy to see all the elements within this book used in this app, as there are additional white cards with fun facts throughout this tale, here to be tapped to reveal the text and included narration. This keeps the spirit of this book intact and adds another layer of interactivity, past the ability to move certain details around the screen. Explore this app to find these hotspots.
What I find most impressive, however, is the stellar narration by John Bell, my personal favorite narrator of applications and a regular voice to be heard within Dr. Seuss apps.
I have often compared Bell to a Shakespearean actor who can speak difficult lines of text in a way that audiences will comprehend much better than if spoken by another actor with less mastery of his craft.
The same is true within Dr. Suess books, where the nonsensical rhymes can make for challenging reading both out loud as well as to oneself - especially for children.
I love to hear Bell speak the names of these dinosaurs, feeling as if the names and pronunciations are only now beginning to seep into my memory, which is not the case for other times I have hear these names spoken. This is good news as I want to speak with authority as my son and I play dinosaurs who have invaded our train table in record numbers.
The only missed opportunity within this app, however, is the lack of a glossary found within the printed version of this book and not found within this application - an element I would love to see included in a future update.
Otter on His Own - Smithsonian Oceanic Collection is a charming coming-of-age universal storybook app about a sea otter from his first days after birth until he is able to venture out into the sea all on his own.
My son and I really enjoy the books in this series of Smithsonian apps, which brings this series of books by the same names to life, developed by Oceanhouse Media into applications. They include a narrator option with highlighted text and the ability to tap specific words or paragraphs to hear narration to better aid in reading, even when reading these apps to oneself - also an option.
As with other Oceanhouse Media apps, do tap on objects found within these pages to see and hear the corresponding labeling of these details.
The illustrations included in Otter on His Own are lovely to look at and have been greatly appreciated by my son, who has enjoyed the details that one can see of the otter as well as the other sea creatures within this book, as the images panning and zooming around the page draw readers closer to specific moments touched upon within the story.
We both enjoy the otter noises and other ocean sounds found within this app - nice effects that add a great deal of richness to this application, really bringing this story to life as we can hear the cries of the baby otter, so very dependent on his mother, his sounds making me think of my son as a newborn himself.
We also very much enjoy the moments when the otters are under water gathering up food in ways most interesting as well as scenes where the mother otter uses tools to remove fish from their hard shells, bringing many interesting facts to this narrative.
This app does a nice job of showing this otter as he grows and includes a moment of suspense when the otter mother comes face to face with a predator which my boy took notice of, but this moment of drama is short-lived and age-appropriate.
I admire the slow pacing of this book which makes for a relaxing read before bed, and although this may not be every child's taste, I think there is a need for apps like the ones found within this Smithsonian series to balance out the possibly overly stimulating apps which children also enjoy spending time with.
Equally enjoyable are the otter facts that are included at the end of this app which my son got a kick out of, asking me more about these topics and inspiring me to do research on my own for more information for my son to enjoy.
Otter on His Own will be enjoyed by animal lovers of all ages, and I look forward to reviewing more Smithsonian apps from Oceanhouse Media in the future.