Whatever your feelings are on the right age to introduce kids to technology, when you do decide they're ready, you'll find a wealth of reading-related apps waiting for them. Disney announced this month that their book apps for various Apple devices have been downloaded over one million times, and Android's rapidly growing market offers multiple categories of kids' apps, from education to entertainment.
The strength of the Android store is that there are tons of free book apps for kids. So many that it's impossible to choose just a few! We will rely on you, dear reader, to share your recommendations in the comments. Our Picks For Android:
- Mystic Maggie (lite version, free) - an interactive illustrated story with sound effects and vocabulary.
- Story Book - The Ugly Duckling (free) - a bilingual (Chinese and English) illustrated audio book, including a vocabulary chapter.
- LOL Libs (free) - a madlibs app that lets children insert words into 64 original stories for comedy madness. Includes text-to-speak and achievements.
- The Rescue of Ginger is a story app for ages 0-4 with interactive pages and minigames. Also available for iPad.
According to Publisher's Weekly, children's stories consistently rank in the top book-app sales for iPad. The new Disney app includes titles like Princess Dress-up: My Sticker Book and Toy Story 3 Read-Along. And earlier today, Barnes and Noble released an app called Nook Kids, which gives you access to tons of B&N's children's books in digital form. Signing up gives you two books for free: Richard Scarry’s “Colors” and Rudyard Kipling’s “The Elephant’s Child.” Our Picks For Apple:
- The Birthday ($1.99) is the top-ranked interactive storybook in the Apple store.
- Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook ($3.99) - the classic tale, supplemented by readalong text, games, Easter eggs and more.
- Dr. Seuss ($2.99 each) - All your favorites, rendered interactive. What's not to love?
- International Children's Digital Library (free) - this app gives you access to over 4,000 books for free, though you can't download them.