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The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on March 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DIGITAL POP-UP
The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words is an app with a lot of polish as well as content.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: January 28-February 1

Posted by Chris Kirby on February 2nd, 2013

Lots of fresh new content this week at 148Apps.com, including a three part series tracking the history and development of Firemint's Real Racing series. Rob Rich writes, "The soon to be released Real Racing 3 is on a lot of iOS gamers’ minds these days, especially many of us here at 148Apps. Because of this we thought it would be a good idea to recap the series. In fact, we might have gone a bit beyond that and created a trilogy. First we’ll be taking a look at the series’ history and the history of Firemint, the Melbourne based studio that created the series. After that we’ll be taking a look at the design factors and what when into creating the first two Real Racing titles as well as a little of the third. And in the third part of this series, we’ll take a look at the new Time Shifted Multiplayer found in Real Racing 3."

Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three at 148Apps.


GiggleApps.com traded in the racing wheel for a stethoscope, as Amy Solomon reviewed Doctor Cat: "Doctor Cat is a cute children’s app allowing users to use different medicines to treat animals.

This app is bright and colorful, with a simple and sweet narrative about a cat finding a lost doctor’s bag and using its contents to treat creatures in need."

Find out more about this delightful new app for children by visiting GiggleApps today.

And we close out our weekly tour of sites by checking in on the latest KickStarter spotlight on AndroidRundown.com. Joseph Bertolini writes, "It is amazing how many times I leave my phone in the car or forget to bring my keys out with me. Consolidating these two would be a dream and there are a few solutions available but their effectiveness is very questionable. One of the more complete and involved KickStarter projects that we have spotlit here, Intellacase is a smartphone case that incorportes within it a key fab for any modern car with keyless entry. While this does nothing for most car owners who still reside in the land of metallic gateways, a growing number of affordable cars are adopting the keyless ignition as a viable offering. Certainly for anyone who has a car that utilizes keyless technology this is an incredibly attractive opportunity. Image going out on the town, with the increasing prevalence of NFC payments, and being able to bring just a phone which has access to both wallet and car access."

Read more about Intellacase at AndroidRundown.

Another week down, but oh so much more to report in the coming days and weeks! Keep track of the latest happenings by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. You'll be glad you did. See you next week kiddies!

Catch a Bedtime Yawn with Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 16th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.

Is it Safe to Let Your Preschooler Have an Email Account? Maily Says Yes

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 2nd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Putting young children together with the internet is always a dicey proposition. On the one hand as parents, we want to give our children every opportunity to use new technologies and to become familiar with them at an early age. But on the other, the internet is simply not a safe playground, even for teens, much less pre and grade schoolers. Still, connectivity in an age where grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, even parents often live thousands of miles apart, is too hard to resist. Just check the average parent’s Facebook wall. We try to control the situation, but let’s face it, kids understand these new technologies intuitively and gravitate towards them as they do presents under a Christmas tree.

Enter Maily, a new email client for iPad that takes aim at nervous parents and their digitally eager offspring with an app that’s one part safety-oriented contact manager and one part creative composition tool. Using text, drawing tools, stamps, photos and a kid-friendly touch interface, children can send pretty much whatever they can imagine in two dimensions inviting even pre-writers to start emailing. Parents manage the contact list and add photos of each recipient to make inbox management easy for pre-readers. Parents also have power of approval before a message from anyone, beloved or otherwise, is read and of course, they can screen what their kids are sending.

National Geographic Releases Look & Learn: Animals Vol 1

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 22nd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

National Geographic has just released a new bundle of educational apps for iOS, aimed at young children.

The bundle, Look & Learn: Animals Vol. 1, includes Animal Bounce, Animal Match and Animal Words. Each title encourages children to discover more about the natural world through some great animal sounds and age-appropriate games. Throughout, the kind of photography we've all come to expect from National Geographic continues the beguiling theme.

Animal Bounce is focused on learning animal names and sounds, while Animal Match involves matching the animal to its shape. Animal Words teaches name recognition and basic alphabet skills. Each should be great fun for little ones.

The app is optimized for the new iPad but works just as well for iPhone and iPod Touch. It's all designed to tie in well with the National Geographic learning books series for preschoolers.

Look & Learn: Animals Vol. 1 is out now, priced at $2.99. It's an Universal app.

Grandma's Garden Takes Root in the App Store

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 3rd, 2012

Fairlady Media just released a new educational game, Grandma’s Garden.

Grandma’s Garden features Granny and her gang of whacky veggies teaching preschool and kindergarten level skills via five included mini-games (many of which are vegetable-themed). Educational skills that are covered in the app include shapes, colors, letters, counting, and memory. These games are “Match the Vegetables,” “Color the Vegetable,” “Count the Vegetables,” “First Letters,” and “Shapes.”

Players are showered with positive words and funny, Granny-typical gifts. The players are rewarded with items from Granny’s purse including candy, toys, and other grandmother-oriented items (lipstick, perfume, and more). The goal of the game is to provide a pure and sweet experience for children to learn kindergarten and preschool skills.

Grandma’s Garden is available for $0.99. Other games from Fairlady Media include Bust A Marble, Spazzle, and Ghosts!.

Check out the video below that includes gameplay of Grandma’s Garden.


Create A Monster HD Review

Posted by GiggleApps Staff on July 19th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Create A Monster HD is a very creative app for iPad allowing players to create the monster of their dreams with some unique and very helpful features not typically included in apps such as this.

The app offers many different choices including head shape as well the basic eyes, nose, mouth and ears choices, with these choices typically including a monster slant to them, such as bloodshot eyes, single eyeball, and varied fang choices included with the mouths. There are many odd selections available for great interesting details like horns, scars, and antennae, as well as some quirky choices like hair pieces and eyeglasses, plus much more.

Read the full review at GiggleApps.

Moo, Baa, La, La, La Book Review

Posted by Nick Papageorge on June 9th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

I'm going to come right out and say this. I love Sandra Boynton. To me, she is the most prolific children's story writers to come out in this generation, specifically for younger children. I put her alongside Dr. Seuss and Robert Munsch, and that's high praise.

"Moo, Baa, La, La, La" is produced by Loud Crow, the makers of the PopOut! book series (Peter Rabbit, Night Before Christmas, etc). Their books have been showcased by Apple for a reason, they are top notch in quality and production values. Designed to simulate a real "pop-up" type book, they include characters that spring when you touch them, tabs that move various parts of the book, and windows, doors and such that open and close. It really does give the books a tactile feel, and I honestly believe these books have more interactive elements than most on the app store.

It's clear that "Moo, Baa" is a silly book. It starts out normal, with a cow saying "Moo", a sheep saying "Baa", but the next page you lift up a curtain and it's 3 singing pigs saying "La, La, La!".

Like with most books in the app store, you can choose to read it yourself or have "The Big Guy Read it" for you. This book has an especially special narrator, Sandra Boynton's son, Keith (trivia fact, Sandra's middle name is Keith).

Inside, interaction ranges from touching Rinos to hear them Snort and Snuff, pulling back dogs like a slingshot to send them running at 2 cats saying "Meow". As the dogs leap after them, they leave their collars behind to hang in mid-air, a very cute touch.

Like most "board books", it's short, coming it at about 12 pages, but it's no slouch. Each page offers so much to the touch, almost everything you see does something, even if it's as little as a sound. My daughters spent probably twice as long enjoying the pages, the interaction, the art and the humorous sounds as they did of just the story. Hearing them laugh while touching each of the singing pigs at the start never gets old.

Now, the story itself is probably targeted to younger children around the age of 1 - 4, because of its simple language. The sentences are simple and they mostly consist of animal sounds except for the last of the book. It's a magical ending and one that will yield different results for everyone who reads it.

I would like to make it clear that even though the book is designed for younger children, you don't have to be young to enjoy it. My daughters are 6 and it is still one of their favorites. Because they're now fairly advanced readers, they're able to read the entire story easily and without having to struggle. In the path to learn how to read, I find this is far more important than pushing kids to read longer words before they're ready. I figure they'll probably be done with the book in a year, but between the physical book and this, I've gotten an easy 5 years out of it, not a lot of books that have that kind of staying power.

So, is "Moo, Baa, La, La, La" worth your $3? Yes, yes and yes. It's a simple story that's an amazing read for children, especially ones who are very young. It scales to older children who are learning how to read, and allows for easy comprehension. The app design is great, and the interaction is one of the best on the app store. You owe it to yourself, and your kids, to check it out.

The Going to Bed Book Review

Posted by Nick Papageorge on June 7th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

"The Going to Bed Book" is one of two Sandra Boynton books available on the app store (the other is "Moo, Baa, La, La, La") and like "Moo, Baa" it is a fantastic book with top notch production value that takes a great story and adds some unique and wonderful interactive elements, making it a joy to read both as a parent and for our children.

"The Going to Bed Book" is produced by Loud Crow Interactive, the makers of the PopOut! series (Peter Rabbit, Night Before Christmas, etc). Loud Crow has been featured in the app of the week as well as New And Noteworthy because they're fantastic. They are designed to simulate a real "pop-up" type book, with characters that spring from the page, tabs to move back and forth, windows/doors to open. It really does give the books a tactile feel, and I honestly believe there is more interactivity in their books than almost any on the app store to date.

As with most of Sandra Boynton's books, they are very silly, and "Going to Bed" is no different. It's a story about a boat full of about 10 animals getting ready to go to bed. You get to follow them through quite a few different activities to get them there, starting with scrubbing them clean in the bath to scrubbing their teeth in the sink.

This interaction in the book is similar, in a very good way, to the PopOut! book series. There's not a single page that's left out from interaction. You can tilt your iPad and it'll swing a chain that's hanging, you can touch on an animal and they'll bounce like they're on a spring. Another you touch will squeak, moo or make some other sound. I hate to spoil this, but it's too good not to talk about... At one point in the bathroom, you get to turn on the hot water tap and very slowly and subtly, it starts to fog up the entire iPad screen. It's terrifically realistic and once it's done, you... I mean, your kids, get to use their fingers as a squeegee to clean off the screen. Yes, it's silly, but it's a really nice touch.

The story is about 13 pages long and allows you to either read it yourself or "Have the Big Guy Read It". The narrator is perfect as his voice is deep, warm and inviting, like the perfect grandpa. With the narration off, you can touch on each of the words to hear them spoken aloud, something I find important in the path to learning how to read.

On that note, the language in the book is very simple. There is more of a complete story here than you'll find in "Moo, Baa", but the language is still very easy to understand and comprehend. I'd still say the age range for the direct target would be 1 - 4, but I can confidently say that this would be a hit for children as young as 6 months to as old as 6 or 7 years old. My daughters still absolutely love it and I believe they will at 7, a testament to the quality of the story and humor.

It is clear by now that I'm smitten with these books. But it's not that I'm blinded by the author, if the books weren't good I'd be the first to say it. But they are good. No, they're great. They're experiences that shaped my daughter's early years of reading, and I hope that you'll find they do the same for yours, too.

Food Fight! – An Interactive Book Review

Posted by GiggleApps Staff on February 16th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Food Fight! – An Interactive Book is an iPad storybook that my son and I find really enjoyable. It is a unique and original story about two boys from different worlds who at first seem to have a lot of differences but really have much in common.

First you meet Tim, who is a really picky eater and will eat nothing but sausages for every meal and snack. Next, on another planet inhabited by sausage people, we meet Sammy. Sammy eats nothing but little boys the same way Tom delights in eating sausages. Sammy finds out that there is a place where sausages are eaten and goes to earth to confront Tom. At first they cannot get past their differences but are able to work things out, with a witty surprise ending that children will love.

Read the full review at GiggleApps.

Cozmo’s Day Off Review

Posted by GiggleApps Staff on February 10th, 2011

Cozmo’s Day Off is a really fun and creative space-themed universal application which includes both a story as well as numerous highly engaging interactions and mini-games.

I love the look of this app; the illustrations are great as are the various interactions one can find by tapping around the pages. I like that some of the interactions are different each time they are tapped and are sometimes rather involved as well with multiple things happening from just one touch. The look of this app has a nice 1950’s space theme and I like looking at all the retro elements, including a few that remind me of an earlier steampunk style as well. The music as well as the narration is excellent and it is fun that one can change the pitch of the narrator’s voice as well as your own if you choose to make your own recording. Mini-games are also included throughout the app as well as some highly creative and unique elements. One will just have to tap to explore for himself; just be sure to touch and explore everything on the screen. Check out the “help” section if you want direction in finding the interactions that these pages contain. I greatly appreciate this information being included and wish a section like this would be part of app interactive apps.

Read the full review right here on GiggleApps.

The Bronto Family Adventure Review

Posted by GiggleApps Staff on October 22nd, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The Bronto Family Adventure is a nice book app about Jax Bronto and his dinosaur family as they go on an adventure. Children can choose to be read to or read this story to themselves, and there is a short peek-a-boo themed game your child can play as well.

This app includes nicely drawn, simple illustrations, and the narration is pleasant. My son enjoys listening to the story, and I appreciate the mild suspense created as Jax gets lost after roaming away from his parents. The ending is a happy one, but is does gently remind children not to wander too far away from mom and dad. I like the idea of being able to either listen to or read this story to my child, and when my son gets older, he can read this now familiar story to himself.

Read the Full Review on GiggleApps

iSee123 – A Counting Adventure

Posted by GiggleApps Staff on August 18th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

iSee123 – A Counting Adventure is a nicely animated interactive app that would be a good choice to introduce number recognition. Text, narration, numbers, and animation are incorporated together to help kids learn their numbers and count from 1 to 10. The music and ocean sounds make the animated scenes peaceful and relaxing to watch.

I am really impressed by the unique aquatic animals chosen, making it stand apart from the usual barnyard-themed applications. My son (aged 2 1/2) has known his numbers for a long time but is still engaged. He quickly found the section of this app where he could just watch the animations and went through all 10 of them again, sitting quietly.

Read more iSee123 - A Counting Adventure on Giggle Apps

I See Ewe--A Preschooler Word Game

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Donna Harrison on March 10th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RECOMMENDED
This matching game for preschoolers offers toddlers a fun and different way to learn to identify animals, shapes and colors while offering parents a (possibly) welcome, if not temporary, reprieve.
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