Has anyone else noticed the trend to make books more like apps? Just today, I read another one. COUNT THE MONKEYS by Mac Barnett made me feel like I was reading a book app. This is not a bad thing, in fact, I rather enjoy the active instructions. For example, you are asked to turn the page slowly, raise your hand, move your hand in a zigzag, etc. The book does not actually DO anything, it is the reader that is doing the actions. And the actions will be great fun in storytime.
TAP THE MAGIC TREE by Christie Matheson is coming out in August. This one really reminds me of an app, especially since the reader is asked to tap, pat, knock, shake, and rub the tree. Again, lots of fun for storytime. I will be really surprised if these books don’t get their own apps. It only seems natural and easy.
One of my favourite app-like books is PRESS HERE by Herve Tullet. This one does have its own app, and it is almost as much fun as the book. I love that Tullet has so many active books — just about every one of his books are almost toy-like in their interactive design.
Other books that remind me of apps are: TUCK ME IN by Dean Hacohen, THERE ARE CATS IN THIS BOOK by Viviane Schwarz, and TANKA TANKA SKUNK, by Steve Webb.
How about you? Have you found any app-like books you love to use in storytime?
Calgary Public Library has created a lovely app for parents. I just can’t stop looking at this app and how amazing it is!
The app is called GROW A READER and it is free for iPhone and iPad. It has early literacy tips for parents in video form, it has mini-videos of rhymes and songs, and it suggests books, all within the Every Child Ready to Read “Talk, Sing, Read, Play, Write” areas. I love this app so much– I think I have a crush on Calgary Public Library!
Any parent with a young child and an iPhone or iPad should rush out right now and download this sweet app. I’ll even make it easy for you. Just click HERE!
Welcome to my new feature, App of the Week! Each week, I will showcase an app that I’ve tested and recommend. Here’s my inaugural choice!
App: Chalk Walk
Developer: Mrs. Judd’s Games
Educational Use: writing, fine motor skills
Why I like it: fun and funky music, have to use 2 fingers to draw, which mimics the fine motor skills needed to use a pencil.
There are two modes: Trace and Doodle. In trace, you follow a line that gives puzzle clues to spell words. In Doodle, you can, well, doodle – you can also change backgrounds, save your pictures, and change the chalk color. This is a good app for children who like to draw and write. Because you have to use the “pincer” muscles – the thumb and finger- it develops the same fine motor skills as holding a pencil. the Parents and Teachers section has some nice tips for extending and sharing this app with kids. While it does have occasional notifications, I have not noticed any other annoying ads or in-app purchases. You can turn off the music, though it is really not bad. Settings allow for right or left-handed users.