I joined an amazing study group about children and teen books and, in our last meeting, we were invited to list our special books. So I was responsible for making a small selection of interesting book apps that I like.
I don’t mean I don’t like traditional books LOL… But people are still less used to digital reading, so my goal is proving there are very good book apps published for children and teens!
They asked me to share that using a social network, so I figured out it could be a good topic for a new post. You will see there aren’t obvious brands that do things everyone knows and like it.
So here are 7 of my favorites (there are more… don’t tell anyone!) and my reason to love them! They are in alphabetical order by the name of the book:
This one is more an app (with some books embedded) than a book app, but I love the idea! The Museum of London started an exhibition about Dickens and this app was launched as part of that. It has some little narratives from the author and the first came for free. Others can be bought (it’s cheap) or downloaded for free at locations of the city related to the stories (there is a map too, so you can walk and learn). The illustrations, voiceover, sound production… it’s stunning! No doubts it was a superproduction very well funded by the cultural institut – kind of thing that makes people who works with culture smile. In English. Last year, an app was published in Brazil inspired on it, created as part of an exposition about Machado de Assis. It’s called “Rio de Machado” and it’s nice too. But unfortunately I have not heard a lot about it. In Portuguese.
Speaking on my own behalf is not elegant, but hiding my work is not either… so here is. Frankie for Kids is the first experiment/MVP/Frankenstein of StoryMax. It’s a version of the Mary Shelley classic with young illustration, animation and interaction – all editorial oriented, which means you will not find in it many interactions without reason to be there. You will notice a big concern about not interrupting the reading time. The technology is used for creating deeper reading to the reader. In Portuguese and inEnglish
This one is for small children and it’s more an app than a book app too. It has a bookshelf of picture books (there are many classification to that – I just picked what seems neutral to me) and you can pick one and tell the story with your words/voice. It will be recorded, so you can see and hear your narration after. The best thing is letting children create their stories and be surprised on how many things the images can tell us! Personally I don’t like the free illustration in this app – maybe I am too critical. But I think it’s a great idea!
Speaking about picture books, this one tell us the Little Red Riding Hood tale without any word and I like it very much. To communicate what is not wrote, the illustration is nice and nothing obvious, the book app has very good animation (I think there is too much, but it’s ok for this proposal) and great sound too. About versions of the tale, Little Red Riding Hood has another one that I really like, rs… it’s for kids a bit older and certainly delights teens and adults. The name is “LDRH” and, in this story, all the family is zombie/dead, except Grandma. In this scenario, the girl is taking a potion to kill Grandma, hahaha… this book app is really nice too. I would remove much of the animation between pages because I think this make the story more like a movie and less like a book, but … it’s a good experience anyway. In English and in Spanish.
It’s like a great fun time with fairy tales (and a little more). You start telling one and then jump to another and another, always randomly and in a funny way. The illustration is very colorful, happy, and the animation and sounds will make good laugh. Last year I helped translating this to Portuguese, but so far it’s only in English and Italian.
Being a beautiful and well done version of Odyssey for kids was enough for making me like it. I love the well chosen illustrations and interactions at the introductory page, the map as an index, the zoom in some pages and even some parts you can read only if you interact with the story. This is the first time I liked this kind of interaction (which I usually call interruption). I know just some parts of the original text, so I’d like someone could give me an opinion about the text in this app… for me it’s a good book app that brings an important classic to young people. In English and in Italian.
I’ll pretend I’m not talking about my creation, so I won’t feel embarrassed. This book app was done to smartphones (it works on tablets too) and it’s pure love! It brings a famous sonnet from Bilac with cute illustration and, again, interaction related to the story you are reading. I love the poem can be read silently by the reader first, in parts (I call this “to taste” the poem). And then, only after, it’s read in voice over, all text at once, with cadence. Another thing I like is the content about the author and the Parnassianism: perfect to declare your love (you purchase and send gift to someone else) and also perfect for the classroom. In Portuguese, in English and in Spanish.