Category Archives: iTunes

App Review: Construction Alphabet by Scott Adelman

Construction Alphabet
By Scott Adelman
$0.99 on iTunes, Amazon

As hard as I tried to keep his life free of gender stereotypes, my little boy loves “boy things.”  Trucks, trains, airplanes and cars are all fine and dandy, but what really floats my little guy’s boat are construction vehicles.  This $.99 app was so worth the money.

Each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding construction vehicle. (A is for Aerial Lift! B is for Bulldozer! C is for Crane!)  The interface is simple; there are two large circles at the bottom corners of the screen, one of which makes the vehicle move horizontally, and the other makes the machine perform a function (dump truck dumps, jackhammer hammers etc).  Arrows at the top corners navigate to previous or subsequent vehicles.  When you tap the word, the narrator says the letter and what it stands for e.g.  “J is for Jackhammer.”

This app is great for developing print motivation skills because the content is so engaging for this age group. Navigation and interactivity are intuitive; and letter awareness, vocabulary, print awareness and dexterity are all supported in a fun way.   As some other reviewers point out, if your little one doesn’t dig construction vehicles, this may not be the app for them, but if they ever exclaim “Look Mama! A digger!” you should definitely check it out.

See other reviews from Famigo and The iPhone Mom.  Scott Adelman has also produced Kids Trucks: Numbers and Counting and Kids Trucks: Preschool Learning. (sic)


lunchbox reviews

Lunch Box Reviews is a busy little website that reviews mostly iTunes products (apparently Android apps are coming soon!) and allows users to post their own reviews.  Apps are arranged by Platform, Age and Category, and they also have handy dandy search functions that allow you to refine your search.  You can save lists of your own apps, and they post the “Top Ten Best Of” lists daily.  They maintain a blog and a What’s New section for keeping up with the most up-to-date stuff.

eBook Review: The Real Mother Goose, illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Real Mother Goose
Illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright
$.99 on B&N, iTunes and Amazon

This eBook is an instance of a classic tree book being made available for digital consumption. Wright’s illustrations are gorgeous, though the developers could have made them much bigger.  As it is they  only take up about 25% of the screen, and since there is no narration or interactivity, the illustrations have to carry the show.  Mother Goose rhymes are wonderful for soothing little people, and this collection of rhymes fits in a purse or diaper bag much better than the paper copy would.

eBook Review: Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harold and the Purple Crayon
Trilogy Studios
$6.99 at Amazon App Store and iTunes

We initially downloaded the lite version of Harold and the Purple Crayon for our Kindle Fire, mostly because we thought it was crazy that anyone would charge $6.99 for an eBook. Lo and behold, this app was a HUGE hit with the whole family!  The original tree-based Harold was published in 1955 by Crockett Johnson and has since been made into short animated films, an Emmy-award winning TV series and apparently a movie is in production for 2013.

Each page shows Harold drawing a new adventure in grey, and it is the reader’s task to purpleize his lines.  The narration is pleasing, the animation adorable and the interactivity engaging at many levels.

See the Common Sense Media review here.

App Review: Baby Sign ASL

Baby Sign ASL, Version 1.05
$4.99 on iTunes

Baby sign language is very popular right now, and I want to jump on that bandwagon.  My daughter Jordan is five months old, so I plan to start teaching her some basic sign language.  I have a book and a DVD, but do I have time to deal with that?  No.  This Baby Sign ASL app is perfect.  There are more than enough words here (don’t cheap out and get a free version- it is a waste of time).  Each word is demonstrated through a clear video.  You can add your favorites to a list and quiz yourself.  You can search alphabetically or by categories.  I spent about five minutes with the app today, and I have a few signs in mind (mommy, daddy, milk, and bath) that I plan to show Jordan tonight.  While I was watching the videos, I couldn’t help thinking of Robert DeNiro’s character teaching his grandson signs in “Meet the Fockers”.

Review by Leslie McNabb

eBook Review: A Charlie Brown Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve, y’all!  I took the plunge and shelled out some actual dough to buy A Charlie Brown Christmas.  I am glad I did.  For my hard-earned money I got to witness my favourite melancholy youngster bemoaning his lack of Christmas cheer, then finding it again by being whacked on the head with a little religion (yeah, it’s a little heavy handed, but I’m trying not to be all Scrooge McDuck about it).

Extras included a game of collecting Christmas ornaments throughout the book, snowflakes that go POP and crystalize, and pop-up style characters that do funny things like sigh or wiggle when you tap them.  There is also finger painting, piano playing, angry-birds style snowball throwing and Lucy saying “Look Charlie, Let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket!”

I had fun clicking on words to make the bored sounding computer voice make sentences that made no sense, and Little J really got the hang of turning pages.

Spring for this App, snuggle up with your kid and be jolly, eBook style.

Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate When It Gets Cold, everyone!