One of the best educational uses for your iPhone or iPod touch is as a reader for children’s story books. There are many, many story apps of varying quality in the iTunes stores. The best ones are interactive, and we’re also partial to good background music, sound effects and illustrations.
Here are a few we like. An added bonus? Since most of these stories retail for between $0.99 and $3.99, your book budget will go a lot farther than it does down at Barnes and Noble.
1. The Birthday,$1.99, ages 3-7
A darling interactive chapter story about two unlikely best friends. Frank the frog is trying to find the perfect birthday present for his friend Gigi the giraffe.
Kids will love solving simple but fun riddles to help him in his difficult quest. This is a nice, long story and very good value for the money.
2. I Can Do It Too!, $2.99, ages 3-6
An empowering, repetitive story about a little person attempting all the tasks in a big person’s world including pouring juice, baking a cake, and riding a bike. Personally I would never let kids pour juice, but this is a great book for young kids anyway. Good for beginning readers and pre-readers.
3. Tire Mountain, $3.99, ages 5-8
Aaron is a city kid who helps his father at his tire shop next door to their home. They stack discarded tires in a high pile across the street.
Aaron’s mother would like to move so that he’ll have room to run and play, but he convinces her that there’s plenty to do on the corner where they live.
4. Sea Creatures, $0.99, ages 3-8
A short, fun nonfiction title that keeps it simple with text like, “A blue whale can eat a meal as BIG as an elephant every day” and “These jellyfish look pretty but it’s not good to touch them because they might sting you”. The pages have sea creature illustrations and pictures of kids.
5. The Smelly Sprout, $0.99, ages 2-8
Nobody loves a brussel sprout, as this one finds as he tries repeatedly to find a home and is repeatedly kicked out with a refrain of , “Out smelly sprout!” in read to me mode. Never fear though, all’s well that ends well.
6. The Rescue of Ginger, $2.99, ages 2-5
Mrs. Applebottom’s cat Ginger is missing. Madera Monkey and Figaro Frog (ably assisted by—you guessed it!— your preschooler) go looking for her in this sweet, original 20-page interactive story with lots to do on every page.
We especially love the mice who play no real role in the story, but do play soccer, do cartwheels, climb trees, and dance.