A mix of titles currently on my shelves.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Story Apps for Kids, Part 2

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books. I love all types and genres of books, but particularly novels and children’s books -- especially picture books. To me, a flawless story matched with wonderful art is as near to perfected creation as humans come.

Predictably, I’ve dreaded the encroachment of e-books into children’s picture books. And yet...I am coming around, so much so that I am simply amazed to find myself excited about iPad stories.

Granted, I haven’t seen many of them yet – though I’m working on it while still holding out for the next iPad edition. But what I’ve seen is both encouraging and engaging. To begin with, the iPad screen is large enough to make viewing pleasurable and inviting, rather than a strain.

Ruckus Media, which I mentioned earlier, has a charming story app called Present for Milo for preschoolers to beginning readers. The content was created for the iPad, not retrofitted from an existing book. Colorful art, uncluttered design, playful animation, funny sounds, and simple interactive responses move the straightforward story line along to a sweetly surprising conclusion. More than 125 animations and 80 interactive objects will keep children engaged as they discover new actions. The vocabulary is easy enough for beginning readers, with the text clearly displayed and narrated. The animation, sound, and interactivity meet my personal criteria of enhancing, not detracting from, the story.

I’ll be looking at more stories and app developers this week. Stay tuned!

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